The Lyin’, the Witch Hunt, and the Wardrobe: Day 8

“I hear Curaçao is nice.”

The famously cranky Judge Ellis took ANOTHER potshot at Team Mueller:

The prosecution spent about 40 minutes Thursday afternoon questioning a bank employee about Manafort’s unsuccessful effort to get a $5.5 million construction loan on a Brooklyn brownstone, only to have Judge T.S. Ellis III suggest that the issue was unworthy of such extensive discussion at the trial. Notably, Ellis made the remark with the jury present.

“You might want to spend time on a loan that was granted,” the judge scoffed as prosecutor Uzo Asonye sat down after concluding his questioning of Citizens Bank employee Taryn Rodriguez.

“Your honor, this is a charged count in the indictment,” the prosecutor said.

“I know that,” Ellis shot back.

That was the big drama of the day, but there was also another significant event: the Prosecution asked for a portion of “a sidebar conference” to be sealed because it might reveal some details of the on-going Russian investigation. The motion was granted.

And thus Comrade Trump makes his appearance into the Manafort trial:

That Gates would have been questioned by Mueller on his time with the Trump campaign should come as no surprise. His plea deal with the special counsel states that he must “cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly with this Office and other law enforcement authorities identified by this Office in any and all matters as to which this Office deems the cooperation relevant.”

Gates’ providing information that extends beyond the pending cases against Manafort makes sense considering how much time Gates spent with Trump during the campaign and then with key officials after Election Day. He wore a Secret Service lapel pin in 2016 that gave him access to Trump on the campaign trail and at Trump Tower.

After Manafort’s ouster, Gates became a liaison between the campaign and the Republican National Committee through Election Day and then served in a senior post on Trump’s inauguration planning committee. He also helped organize the nonprofit group America First Policies, which worked to boost the Trump administration’s agenda.

And that’s what you need to know from Day 8.


  • Day 1: Focusing on the crime
  • Day 2: Focusing on the Crime Against Fashion!
  • Day 3: Focusing on expensive bad taste–meets–petting zoo!
  • Day 4: Focusing on the mystical ability of gullible accountants to put you to sleep!
  • Day 5: Focusing on the gorilla who didn’t fling poo
  • Day 6: ¡SNAP!
  • Day 7: Focusing on why you cannot shame the shameless
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9 Responses to The Lyin’, the Witch Hunt, and the Wardrobe: Day 8

  1. purplehead says:

    I’ve been reading comments on Talkleft blog, by a defense attorney, who stated,

    The “Magistrate of the State,” (or “judge,” as we say in the United States of America) is overwhelmingly more likely in a criminal case to exercise discretion in favor of the prosecutors and against the defense, and much more likely to “chastise” defense counsel, all things being equal. This is a natural outgrowth of how we select our judges. It is extremely rare to see a judge [Ellis], as here, showing bias and unfair demeanor against the government. Indeed, it is remarkable, among the many people I know and associate with on a daily basis for the last 40 years who work in this system, to find a judge who is even neutral and even-handed in the conduct of criminal cases, much less one that tends to favor the defense (which is rare as hens’ teeth).

    I’ve been wondering if any of Ellis’ actions would be grounds for mistrial? Oh wait, can prosecutors even file a mistrial?


  2. roket says:

    Interesting. Especially since Judge T.S. Ellis III began the day by admitting he was wrong when criticizing prosecutors in front of the jury Wednesday.


  3. RWW says:

    What a surprise that a Reagan-appointed Repuke judge in his 80’s would behave on the bench like a raging lunatic who is all-in for team Dumpster Fire. His clear pro-Manafort bias has the extra added bonus of ensuring there can no appeal by the prosecution lest Manafort be put in unconstitutional “double jeopardy”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim says:

      This is primarily a “document” case. Mueller has overwhelming evidence suficient to put away Manafort even without Gates. Ellis is just being his usual asshole-because-I-can-be-self.


  4. Osirisopto says:

    How many rubles is the judges stock worth?


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