Nytt

Dommer T.S. Ellis III i Eastern District of Virginia

Spesialetterforsker Bob Mueller er langt utenfor sitt mandat når han fører sak mot Paul Manafort for skatteunndragelser i 2005-2007. Hans mandat er å etterforske Russia collusion, sa dommer T.S. Ellis III i Eastern District of Virginia fredag.

Hva mer er, Ellis sa Mueller fører sak mot Manafort for å få ham til å si ufordelaktige ting om presidenten, slik at han kunne stilles for riksrett.

Det er sjelden av Bob Mueller får sitt pass påskrevet i så utilslørte ordelag. Muellers utsendte Michael Dreeben likte seg dårlig på benken i Alexandria.

At a tense hearing in a federal court in Virginia on Friday, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III sharply questioned whether Mueller exceeded his authority in filing tax and bank fraud charges against Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

Ellis said the indictment appeared to be a way for Mueller to leverage Manafort into providing information about Trump.

“The vernacular is to sing,” he said.

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” the judge said. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead to Mr. Trump” and his eventual prosecution or impeachment.

“It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special counsel has unfettered power to do whatever he wants,” Ellis, who was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, said at a hearing on Manafort’s motion to dismiss the Virginia charges.

-Melodien her er å synge, dvs sladre, sa dommer Ellis. Det er ikke et kompliment. Det har vært mange artikler i pressen om at Muellers mandat ikke er Russia collusion, men å ta presidenten. Dommer Ellis sa det med rene ord.

At a tense hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, the judge said Mueller should not have “unfettered power” in his Russia probe and that the charges against Manafort did not arise from the investigation into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Muller overtok etterforskningen av Manafort fra justisdepartementet. Manaforts advokater vil ha saken mot ham avvist på formelle grunner.

Muellers team nekter å svare på om det er noen grenser for deres mandat. Justisministser Jeff Sessions sa sist uke at det var på tide for Mueller å konkludere. Om «noen uker».

Men Muellers mann avslørte at visejustisminister Rod Rosenstein utvidet Muellers mandat i august 2017. Det er første gang det er kommet frem. Da dommer Ellis ba om innsyn, fikk han til svar at det var underlagt nasjonale sikkerhetshensyn. Han kunne bare få se en redigert versjon.

Dreeben also stressed that Rosenstein wrote another memo two months later, in August 2017, explicitly granting Mueller the power to investigate Manafort’s Ukraine dealings years before the 2016 election.

Ellis complained that the bulk of that August memo he has received was highly redacted.

He directed Mueller’s office to take two weeks to consult with U.S. intelligence agencies to see if they will sign off so that he can personally review a sealed, unredacted version of the memo.

Dreeben told him the redacted portions did not pertain to the Manafort case.
“I’ll be the judge,” Ellis said.

Dommer Ellis nektet å finne seg i at Mueller kan nekte ham innsyn.

Opplysningen om brevet understreker at Rosenstein opererer i samråd med Mueller, på tvers av presidenten. Justisminister Sessions har erklært seg inhabil og overlatt Mueller-etterforskningen til Rosenstein. Det har avfødt mye frustrasjon og irritasjon.

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Ellis said to prosecutor Michael Dreeben, at times losing his temper. Ellis said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump’s “prosecution or impeachment,” Ellis said…

When Dreeben answered Ellis’ question about how the investigation and its charges date back to before the Trump campaign formed, the judge shot back, “None of that information has to do with information related to Russian government coordination and the campaign of Donald Trump. ”

At one point, Ellis posed a hypothetical question, speaking as if he were the prosecutor, about why Mueller’s office referred a criminal investigation about Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to New York authorities and kept the Manafort case in Virginia.

They weren’t interested in it because it didn’t “further our core effort to get Trump,” Ellis said, mimicking a prosecutor in the case.

 

Det er første gang frustrasjonen med Muellers maktbrynde bryter til overflaten i en rettssal.

Mueller har hittil gjort som han vil. Han etterforsker hvem han vil, han innkaller hvem han vil.

Nå begynner tålmodigheten å ta slutt. Republikanerne akter ikke å sitte stille å se på at han ødelegger presidenten. Da må han ha noe håndfast å legge på bordet som inkriminerer, ikke taktikker som innebærer utpressing og tysting.

 

 

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