According to Fox News, a federal judge on Friday harshly rebuked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during a hearing for ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort – suggesting they lied about the scope of the investigation, are seeking “unfettered power” and are more interested in bringing down the president.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told Mueller’s team. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.” Further, Ellis demanded to see the unredacted “scope memo,” a document outlining the scope of the special counsel’s Russia probe that congressional Republicans have also sought.
Ellis told Mueller’s attorneys that they “don’t really care about Mr. Manafort. You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman questioned Manafort’s attorney on the legal reasoning behind the former Trump aide’s argument that Mueller’s investigation has overstepped and should be shut down. “I don’t really understand what is left of your case,” Berman reportedly told Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing.
Manafort’s civil lawsuit relies in part on a law called the Administrative Procedure Act, which dictates how federal agencies write regulations. Manafort claims that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein‘s order last year appointing Mueller violated Justice Department policies, The Hill wrote.
Ellis is giving Mueller’s lawyers two weeks to provide an unredacted version of an Aug. 2, 2017 memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein laying out the parameters of the investigation into Manafort, the judge said Friday. While Ellis expressed concern with the Mueller prosecution, he made it clear he has not decided whether the Virginia case will be tossed.
“I’m not saying it’s illegitimate,” Ellis said, according to The Post.