Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Judge Nap Calls Out Manafort Judge: Stop Making This About You

Judge Nap Calls Out Manafort Judge: Stop Making This About You

But Ellis is acknowledging to jurors that he went overboard when criticizing prosecutors for allowing an expert witness to remain in the courtroom during the trial.

"Put aside any criticism", Ellis said at the trial proceedings Thursday morning.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has made headlines in recent days for his clashes with the prosecutors, including pressing them on the speed and merits of the prosecution and suggesting one prosecutor was so discouraged he was crying in the courtroom.

During the discussion - one of many during a trial, often called a "sidebar conference" in court lingo - the prosecutors now say they discussed "new" details about their "ongoing criminal investigation" into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

Welch told jurors Wednesday that Manafort didn't report at least $16 million on his tax returns between 2010 and 2014. Jurors have heard testimony that Manafort transferred money from those accounts to pay for cars, custom suits, landscaping services and other luxuries.

Ellis and Andres continued to butt heads Wednesday, after Ellis once again reminded the prosecutors they should wrap their case quickly.

Gates, 46, is expected to be cross-examined for about another hour by Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing before prosecutors get a second chance to try and undo some of the possibly damaging testimony he gave during their redirect.

The filing comes on the eighth day of Manafort's trial on charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.

Prosecutors asked Ellis to instruct the jury that they hadn't done anything improper in an attempt to fix any unfair prejudice.

Another witness, Citizens Bank Vice President Peggy Miceli, said Manafort would not have gotten the $3.4 million loan if the bank had known it was a rental property.

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But Gates did not answer Downing's question after the prosecution objected to the relevance of the inquiry.

The aggressive questioning was aimed at shifting blame from Mr Manafort onto Mr Gates, who pleaded guilty in Mr Mueller's investigation and agreed to co-operate with investigators by testifying in the financial fraud trial.

The judge in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial is joking about his efforts to speed up the prosecution's presentation of its case.

He poked fun at himself Wednesday as he haggled with attorneys over the number and type of charts prosecutors could present during the testimony of the accountant.

In one exchange published in court Wednesday, Manafort instructs his Cypriot lawyer, Kypros Chrysostomides - referred to in court as "Dr. K" because, according to Gates, his name is hard to spell and pronounce - to transfer money from the Manafort-controlled Leviathan Ltd.

The cross-examination of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's protégé ended after the defense renewed its attack on Rick Gates' credibility. Gates and Manafort were not targets of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time of the interview. "When I exclude witnesses I mean everybody, unless I make a special exception".

A Manafort lawyer has accused the government's star witness of being immersed in "so many lies" that he can't even remember them all.

"Well, let me be clear: I don't care what the transcript says", Ellis reportedly said.

Mr Downing forced Gates to admit he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing bogus personal expenses claims and that he had engaged in an extramarital affair and kept an apartment in London for that goal. He is the first person to be tried on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Manafort couldn't have followed his income "that closely" since Gates had "stolen" hundreds of thousands of dollars from him, Ellis said.

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