Here Comes Da Judge: This One’s for You, “Special” Counsel Mueller

 

I was not in Law School long, faced with a frightening attrition rate after the first year, when I had to face the painful fact that as I was not the brightest bulb in the lamp the only way I was going to make it would have to be by dint of hard, grueling, constant work. Out of that grew my practice, in getting our cases ready for trial, of methodically re-reading and studying and then personally — not via Law Clerks or Paralegals like what my friends in Arkansas call “The Tall Building Lawyers” did — outlining each witness’ deposition so I would readily know their previous testimony.

While my Courtroom days are far behind me (insert smiley-face here) I once again turned to that approach in studying the truly stunning, and most welcome, remarks of Judge T.W. Ellis III Federal Court in Virginia recently in the Manafort-Gestapo matter being waged by “Special” Counsel Mueller and his team of savages-at-law. The reason I did this is that I found, upon my first reading, several noteworthy and rather surprising areas  so I decided to go back through the Court’s observations in order to be able to share a lawyer’s analysis, hopefully to illuminate just a few areas either not noted by the media or, in too many cases, simply ignored by the narrative-driven segments of the press.

Here, for what it’s worth, is the result of my deeper study of this most significant hearing, in which the “Special” Counsel and his team of intimidators more than met their match in the person of The Hon. T.W. Ellis, III, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

1. Judge Ellis calls on the Prosecution first in a hearing on a Defense Motion, an unusual procedural turn.

The first thing the transcript reveals is the Court’s very obvious desire to understand how transactions which took place over 10 years before the President even announced his candidacy could possibly be related to the appointment of a Special Counsel after his election to look into matters, by definition in his appointment Order, having to do with his campaign for President. In his determination to understand, he did something very unusual in calling upon the Special Counsel team first — although it was the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the Indictment which was set for argument.

2. A Very Well Prepared and Thorough Judge 

It was also apparent that this was one well-prepared Judge, always something attorneys appreciate and welcome, whether on the winning side or not. Judge Ellis had obviously read every jot and tittle of everything in the record, and he early on got right to the meat of the coconut:

MR. DREEBEN: The issue, I think, before you is whether Mr. Manafort can dismiss the indictment
based on his claim.
THE COURT: Yes. Now I asked you: Where am I wrong about that?
MR. DREEBEN: Your Honor, our investigatory scope does cover the activities that led to the
indictment in this case.
THE COURT: It covers bank fraud in 2005 and 2007?
MR. DREEBEN: Yes, because —
THE COURT: Tell me how.

The Court kept at it for some time, dealing with the constant evasion and deflection of the attorney for the Special Counsel, Michael Dreeben:

THE COURT: You’re running away from my question again. You know, I’m focused on the
indictment that is here.
MR. DREEBEN: Correct.
THE COURT: It involves facts and circumstances that go back as far as 2005 and come forward, Mr. Manafort’s loans from several banks that you all claim he submitted fraudulent statements — I’m asking you, and I’ve already established this investigation long predated the special prosecutor. And so what is really going on, it seems to me, is that this indictment is used as a means of exerting pressure
on the defendant to give you information that really is in your appointment, but it itself has nothing whatever to do with it.
MR. DREEBEN: Well, Your Honor, I understand the question. I’m trying to explain why I think that it does have to do with our investigatory scope, and I think there are a couple of premises that may help
illuminate what that investigatory scope is. The first one is that in examining an individual who was associated with the Trump campaign and did have Russian-affiliated connections, which Mr. Manafort did —
THE COURT: Are they Russian or Ukrainian?
MR. DREEBEN: Both. Mr. Manafort worked extensively in Ukraine, and he also has business connections and other connections to individuals associated with Russia.

3. Judge Ellis: “…they may not just sing. They may also compose.”

After more discussion in which it was established that these alleged crimes could not possibly be related to the reason the Special Counsel was appointed, the Court made a most interesting comment about a potential danger in “persuading” a Defendant to “flip” against another:

THE COURT: That’s right, but your argument says, Even though the investigation was really done by the Justice Department, handed to you, and then you’re now using it, as I indicated before, as a means of persuading Mr. Manafort to provide information. It’s vernacular by the way. I’ve been here a long time. The vernacular is to sing. That’s what prosecutors use, but what you’ve got to be careful of is they may not just sing. They may also compose. I can see a few veteran defense counsel here, and they have spent a good deal of time in this courtroom trying to persuade a jury that there wasn’t singing, there was composing going on.

In one of the best comments on the Court’s remarks, Professor Alan Dershowitz, a scholar of international renown in the field of Criminal Law and Procedure, had this to say about these observations in an article aptly titled “Federal judge rightly rebukes Mueller for questionable tactics”

This is what Judge T.S. Ellis III said at a hearing Friday: “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud … What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.

This tactic is as old as Adam turning against Eve. But, as the judge correctly pointed out, it risks the possibility that the squeezed witness will not only sing, he will compose. Here is what Ellis said about that: “This vernacular is to ‘sing,’ is what prosecutors use. What you got to be careful of is, they may not only sing, they may compose.

I have been using this “compose” metaphor for decades and I am gratified that a judge borrowed it to express an important civil liberties concern. Every experienced criminal lawyer has seen this phenomenon at work. I have seen it used by prosecutors who threaten wives, parents, siblings and, in one case, the innocent son of a potential witness who was about to graduate law school. Most judges, many of whom were former prosecutors, have also seen it. But few have the courage to expose it publicly, as Ellis has done.

Defenders of Mueller’s tactic argue that the threatened witnesses and their relatives are generally guilty of some crime, or else they wouldn’t be vulnerable to the prosecutor’s threats. This may be true, but the crimes they are threatened to be charged with are often highly technical, elastic charges that are brought only as leverage. They are dropped as soon as the witness cooperates.

This was precisely the point Ellis was making with regard to Manafort. A similar point could be made with regard to Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and perhaps to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Indeed, Flynn pleaded guilty to a highly questionable charge precisely because his son was threatened with prosecution.

4. Judge Ellis makes it clear what he thinks about “unfettered power” in America

THE COURT: What we don’t want in this country is we don’t want anyone with unfettered power. We don’t want federal judges with unfettered power. We don’t want elected officials with unfettered power. We don’t want anybody, including the president of the United States, nobody to have unfettered power. So it’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me that the special prosecutor has unlimited powers to do anything he or she wants.

5. A 10 Million Dollar Budget? The Judge Wants To Know.

THE COURT: By the way, your office was appointed, you say, in May 2017. Is there any requirement that you make reports periodically to the attorney general?
MR. DREEBEN: Yes.
THE COURT: Does that include financial? I think you were given $10 million to begin with.
MR. DREEBEN: We have proposed a budget and had a budget approved.
THE COURT: Of $10 million?
MR. DREEBEN: I believe that’s correct.
THE COURT: Have you spent that yet?
MR. DREEBEN: I am not in a position to talk about what our budget is.
THE COURT: Are you in a position to tell me when the investigation will be over?
MR. DREEBEN: I am not, Your Honor.

6. “I’ll be the Judge”

The Judge notes that 75 percent of the August 2 “supplemental” scope letter is blacked out and the Special Counsel attorney responds with the hubris and arrogance which has, unfortunately, come to typify all of their conduct:

MR. DREEBEN: There is in this record a memorandum that he has issued on August 2 that explains that crimes that arose from Mr. Manafort’s receipt of payments from Ukraine is within our jurisdiction and was at —
THE COURT: Yes. I have that right here, and I’m glad you raised it because 75 percent of it is
blocked out, redacted. Why don’t I have a full copy of it?
MR. DREEBEN: The only paragraphs that are pertinent to Mr. Manafort are the ones that are contained in this record.
THE COURT: Well, let me use a phrase that I’m fond of that I used to use with my children. I can’t use it with my wife, but I’ll be the judge of whether it relates to the others. I think you should give me under seal to be sure — and you can do it ex parte if you wish — under seal, ex parte a complete copy of the August 2, and I’ll be the judge of whether it has anything to do with Mr. Manafort.

7. The August 2 “supplemental” letter — Rosenstein’s attempt at retroactive correction of his mistake?

One of the first things Manafort’s attorney brought up, in what I thought was a very fine, if not excellent, argument, was that the so-called “supplemental” “scope letter” could not be allowed to retroactively cure what was obviously an error of the Most Righteous Deputy Attorney General, he who attacks any attempt by Congress to do what is its sworn duty of oversight of “his” Department, in expanding the scope of the jurisdiction of the Special Counsel to include matters in which Manafort had allegedly been involved, i.e., with Ukraine, not Russia:

THE COURT: Well, let me ask you: So what? In other words, is what you’re arguing that the use of that investigation in this case is contrary to the regulation that requires the acting attorney general here, Rosenstein, to be specific about what areas he wants investigated, and you’re saying he was too general. In this supplemental, doesn’t he remedy that in the August 2 letter?
MR. DOWNING: He can’t retroactively remedy it. The question is as of that date, what he did, does it give jurisdiction to the special counsel, or is it still so unrelated to the specific mandate as to be in violation of the regulations and the underlying statute? That’s the question. You, I think, early on got right to the point, which is this doesn’t really make any sense. This doesn’t look like it’s related.

Lest we fail to note, by the way, that this “supplemental” “oops” memo, came shortly after the Mueller goon squad of Jackboots conducted an early morning “raid” in which they broke the door down of Mr. and Mrs. Manafort’s home, with guns drawn, including on Mrs. Manafort still in her night gown, and one may be excused for a little cynicism in asking, in the best Columbo style, if this “supplemental” “oops” memo might have had just a teeny, weeny little bit to do with correcting that egregious show of totally out of control Gestapo tactics.

8. Judge Ellis has some pungent remarks about the “honor” of the Department’s representations to the American people. “C’mon man!”

THE COURT: Well, I understand your argument, but let me characterize it and see if you find it as satisfying as you appear to indicate that you think it is: We said this is what the investigation was about. But we’re not going to be bound by it, and we weren’t really telling the truth in that May 17 letter. I don’t watch pro football, but I used to enjoy the program that came beforehand where a bunch of players would get on and essentially make fun of everybody. But they would put on some ridiculous thing, and then they would all say in a chorus, Come on, man.
I loved that. I thought that was great. So your argument that we said this was the scope of the investigation but we really didn’t mean it because we weren’t required by any law or regulation to say what the scope was, I understand that argument, but it kind of invites, Come on, man. You said that was it.
But I think your argument goes on, and you say, Look, the May 17 letter isn’t the end of it. There is the August 2 letter, and in the August 2 letter, it’s expanded considerably because it then says — Russian government is number one, and then it goes on to the Ukrainian government which is never mentioned beforehand. Who knows what else, of course, went on?
In any event, I wanted you to be clear how I understand that particular argument.

9. Judge Ellis knows what a “Special Prosecutor” must do: indict someone for something!

You know, when a prosecutor is appointed, he’s appointed to get an indictment. He’s appointed to go after somebody. Somebody mentioned to me not long ago that this is a different scheme, that it’s not the scheme that was in effect in the ’60s and ’70s. That’s true, but I suspect the change in this process is not significant. It’s still the same. It’s still the same. You appoint a prosecutor, and that prosecutor goes after with the intent — whether it was Clinton or whoever else it was, Reagan or whoever, they go after him with the idea they’ve got to get an indictment. If they don’t, they’re very unhappy. I remember speaking to one special prosecutor, the Iran-Contra thing, and he was terribly disappointed. That’s what prosecutors do. I understand that.

10. Where is the “record memo” Rosenstein almost certainly put in the record to explain the Aug. 2 “oops” memo?

THE COURT: Do you have anything else to add?
MR. DOWNING: Just briefly, Your Honor. The one thing we would ask this Court to do before deciding the motion before the Court is to ask the government for what anybody who has had any experience with the Department of Justice knows exists, which is the written record. Where is the written record before Mr. Mueller was appointed? Where is the written record about the decision —
THE COURT: What do you mean by the written record?
MR. DOWNING: Mr. Rosenstein had a process he had to go through in order to determine that there was a conflict that gave rise to the appointment of special counsel, the specific matter that the special counsel was going to investigate in any additional jurisdiction he granted. It would all be written down somewhere. That’s how the Department of Justice works.
Mr. Rosenstein even conceded when he was testifying up on the Hill and he was confronted with the question of, When did you expand the jurisdiction to the special counsel? He couldn’t or wouldn’t answer the question, but he did say very tellingly, I will go back and check my records, and I will get back to you. So we would ask that this Court order the government to turn over those records so that the Court doesn’t have to guess what happened.

11. Judge Ellis is Mueller’s and Rosenstein’s worst nightmare

For creatures of the Swamp, there can be no more horrible nightmare than to run headlong into a Federal District Court who not only asks questions which so many Americans have been asking ever since this farce began, such as who gave you such unfettered power, etc., but who has the power to back up those questions with orders to produce entire, unredacted copies of pertinent documents, so, as he so trenchantly put it, “I’ll be the Judge” of whether it is pertinent or not.

12. Conclusion

Hallelujah!

There are 31 comments.

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  1. Hoyacon Inactive
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Great job, Jim.  Thanks.

    I find myself sort of divided on this issue because my heart is against Mueller, but I’m also aware that District Court judges sometimes go overboard with their fiefdoms.  Still . . . Mueller.

    • #1
  2. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    This is a set up – the Plan B of the FBI lovebirds – there are so many personal links of the players in this whole thing, and after all this time and money, they still cannot get the original requests and info fully un-redacted.   Can you imagine if HRC had won the election? All the real corruption would have been swept under a rug. Some have lost their homes having to pay for attorney fees like Flynn – it is beyond shameful. With all that is going on on the world stage, to have this mess continuing is appalling. Thank you for your good analysis – I love the sing and compose theme – I kept picturing Tweety the canary and Sylvester…….

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Aha! The notes! I’ll read them over in the morning, @jimgeorge!

    • #3
  4. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Jim, thank you for taking the time to break this down. (Fingers crossed that this judge will get to the bottom of things.)

    • #4
  5. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    This is how our legal system works.  It is that normally our political class are outside its function, but with Trump they have suspended all the rules and gone full law on him.  They will get Trump, sooner or later somebody will prefer to compose / sing instead of protect Trump and lose everything.

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Thank you for this great post. I’m trying not to get my hopes up. There are so many courtrooms and judges the prosecutors can use to achieve what they want and there is only one Judge Ellis. 

    • #6
  7. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Wonderful post Jim!  And god bless the independent judiciary!  (Manafort still belongs behind bars – but process matters.)

    • #7
  8. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    Isn’t extortion a crime?  A real, on-the-books prosecutable crime?

    Except when prosecutors do it?

    • #8
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Thank you for the clear analysis. I’ve drafted a fairly brief piece on Judge Ellis and three high profile national security cases he heard. I’ll get it polished and published later this Thursday. My impression is the prosecutors are in some trouble and cannot count on motions going their way, even on appeal.

    • #9
  10. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Great post!

    Im reminded of an old Wall St securities fraud/bank fraud case from the early 1980’s – Drysdale Securities.   Drysdale almost bankrupted mega-bank Chase, who was a primary US Government Securities dealer.   That would have brought the market for Treasuries to a screeching halt.   Very very bad.

     The Feds arrived at Drysdale’s offices to basically put crime-scene tape around the entire shop, and (allegedly) announced – “Somebody is going to jail!    We don’t know who yet, and we don’t know why, but you guys almost crashed the Government Securities market – somebody is definitely going to jail.”     And someone did.    Not for anything related to the actual incident, mind you.   They had to dig all the way back to the Drysdale IPO to find something on the top guys they wanted.  But they did.    Mail fraud.    

    • #10
  11. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    @ekosj Very, very interesting.

    • #11
  12. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Very good summary.  I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating:  If I were on a jury and the prosecutor put on a witness who had made a deal in exchange for his or her testimony, that would be the end of the case as far as I was concerned.  That, all by itself, is reasonable doubt.  I would vote to acquit, and I think I could persuade other jurors to do the same.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    A minor point in the transcript, @jimgeorge, that made me smile, was when the judge asked Downing why he thought Rosenstein would have documented his reason for a Special Counsel, had Downing worked for the DoJ. And Downing said he had, and in fact had worked for Rosenstein! Loved that. Thanks for an excellent summary!

     

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Thank you for the clear analysis. I’ve drafted a fairly brief piece on Judge Ellis and three high profile national security cases he heard. I’ll get it polished and published later this Thursday. My impression is the prosecutors are in some trouble and cannot count on motions going their way, even on appeal.

    Wow. That is good news. 

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Very good summary. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: If I were on a jury and the prosecutor put on a witness who had made a deal in exchange for his or her testimony, that would be the end of the case as far as I was concerned. That, all by itself, is reasonable doubt. I would vote to acquit, and I think I could persuade other jurors to do the same.

    Me too. Prosecutors would hate me. :-) 

     

    • #15
  16. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    One of the most excruciating prosecutions I’ve ever watched unfold in the news was that of Tom DeLay. I don’t know DeLay personally, and I wasn’t a political follower of his–I was pretty busy doing nonpolitical things at that time. But there was an ungodly number of grand juries called. I am still angry just remembering it. The grand jury was designed to prevent that very thing. 

    We need to change how we honor prosecutors. Right now, we are attracting publicity seekers to that job. It is dangerous to our entire country. 

    We have got to fix this. 

    • #16
  17. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Great post!

    Im reminded of an old Wall St securities fraud/bank fraud case from the early 1980’s – Drysdale Securities. Drysdale almost bankrupted mega-bank Chase, who was a primary US Government Securities dealer. That would have brought the market for Treasuries to a screeching halt. Very very bad.

    The Feds arrived at Drysdale’s offices to basically put crime-scene tape around the entire shop, and (allegedly) announced – “Somebody is going to jail! We don’t know who yet, and we don’t know why, but you guys almost crashed the Government Securities market – somebody is definitely going to jail.” And someone did. Not for anything related to the actual incident, mind you. They had to dig all the way back to the Drysdale IPO to find something on the top guys they wanted. But they did. Mail fraud.

    Aren’t the Drysdales the neighbors of the Clampetts? 

    • #17
  18. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Very good summary. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: If I were on a jury and the prosecutor put on a witness who had made a deal in exchange for his or her testimony, that would be the end of the case as far as I was concerned. That, all by itself, is reasonable doubt. I would vote to acquit, and I think I could persuade other jurors to do the same.

    That seems a very good way to think about this prosecutorial tactic. Very interesting — thanks — I think you are right.

    • #18
  19. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Jim, thanks for this. I hope this gets to the main feed so I can send it to some friends. 

    • #19
  20. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    Jim, thanks for this. I hope this gets to the main feed so I can send it to some friends.

    Good to hear from you, Larry– it just made it to the main feed, and thanks for your comments about the piece.

    Sincerely, Jim

    • #20
  21. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Great post!

    Im reminded of an old Wall St securities fraud/bank fraud case from the early 1980’s – Drysdale Securities. Drysdale almost bankrupted mega-bank Chase, who was a primary US Government Securities dealer. That would have brought the market for Treasuries to a screeching halt. Very very bad.

    The Feds arrived at Drysdale’s offices to basically put crime-scene tape around the entire shop, and (allegedly) announced – “Somebody is going to jail! We don’t know who yet, and we don’t know why, but you guys almost crashed the Government Securities market – somebody is definitely going to jail.” And someone did. Not for anything related to the actual incident, mind you. They had to dig all the way back to the Drysdale IPO to find something on the top guys they wanted. But they did. Mail fraud.

    Aren’t the Drysdales the neighbors of the Clampetts?

    Not any more.    

    • #21
  22. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Great post!

    Im reminded of an old Wall St securities fraud/bank fraud case from the early 1980’s – Drysdale Securities. Drysdale almost bankrupted mega-bank Chase, who was a primary US Government Securities dealer. That would have brought the market for Treasuries to a screeching halt. Very very bad.

    The Feds arrived at Drysdale’s offices to basically put crime-scene tape around the entire shop, and (allegedly) announced – “Somebody is going to jail! We don’t know who yet, and we don’t know why, but you guys almost crashed the Government Securities market – somebody is definitely going to jail.” And someone did. Not for anything related to the actual incident, mind you. They had to dig all the way back to the Drysdale IPO to find something on the top guys they wanted. But they did. Mail fraud.

    Aren’t the Drysdales the neighbors of the Clampetts?

    Mr. Drysdale was their banker, and he loved having the Clampett millions to play with. (That’s almost too much on-point.)

    • #22
  23. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Fantastic!  #3 really hits home.  In a murder case I worked on, charges were dropped, with a finding of factual innocence.  The charge was based on a false confession, elicited from a co-defendant after a completely out-of-line interrogation.  @jimgeorge, I’m sure you’re familiar with the many abuses of the “Reid Technique.”  My investigation easily proved that the elements of the confession were physically impossible.  And to add to the prosecutor’s dilemma, an eyewitness, who got it exactly right, was ignored because they could not accept that he had seen what he claimed.

    • #23
  24. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    What I find best is what the defendents are asking for in discovery.  He ‘Rothenstein’ wrote records on the process where he brought this charge.  We want to see that.  

    I also want to see all that.  I very much doubt the prosecutors realized how discovery would go.  It seems most of these guys are used to using there leverage to force people to surrender out of court.  They are not used to defendents who have the resources to not just fight but break them.

    I am looking forward to the Russian court case.  Apparently they are asking for discovery on everything the US government has done to interfere in others elections going back to 1945.  They are planning on making that trial into a good old fashioned circus.  

    • #24
  25. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Manafort only did 1/10th of the shenanigans that John Podesta did, yet we do not hear about Mueller breaking down his door.  They both were campaign leads, yet only gets the inquisition.  That is all you need to know it is a witch hunt.

    • #25
  26. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    DonG (View Comment):

    Manafort only did 1/10th of the shenanigans that John Podesta did, yet we do not hear about Mueller breaking down his door. They both were campaign leads, yet only gets the inquisition. That is all you need to know it is a witch hunt.

    My “dog that didn’t bark” moment…

    The feds have this big case against Manafort dating back to 2005, and yet it was never prosecuted. Was there insufficient probable cause to get warrants for his records? It seems fishy.

    • #26
  27. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Thanks to a recommendation from a Ricochetti, I just finished Licensed to Lie. 

    https://licensedtolie.com

    Mark Steyn has written about this subject often, that the DOJ has a success rate (96%??) that rivals banana republics. 

    I am friends with a defense attorney (you’d know her name). When I first met her, I had trouble reconciling her defense of the worst of the worst. As the years go by, and my cynicism grows, I find myself understanding her war against prosecutors.

    I still don’t think it’s okay to kill your parents – but I have four kids, so obviously have a self interest …

    • #27
  28. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Thank you for the clear analysis. I’ve drafted a fairly brief piece on Judge Ellis and three high profile national security cases he heard. I’ll get it polished and published later this Thursday. My impression is the prosecutors are in some trouble and cannot count on motions going their way, even on appeal.

    As promised, albeit a few hours late. http://ricochet.com/517196/the-dredd-judge-ellis/

    • #28
  29. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I still don’t think it’s okay to kill your parents – but I have four kids, so obviously have a self interest …

    It’s good to have principles.

    But I’ll bet there are days when you wonder if it should be okay to kill your kids…

     

    • #29
  30. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    Manafort only did 1/10th of the shenanigans that John Podesta did, yet we do not hear about Mueller breaking down his door. They both were campaign leads, yet only gets the inquisition. That is all you need to know it is a witch hunt.

    My “dog that didn’t bark” moment…

    The feds have this big case against Manafort dating back to 2005, and yet it was never prosecuted. Was there insufficient probable cause to get warrants for his records? It seems fishy.

    The tax evasion case against Manafort seems pretty solid, from what I have heard.  On the other hand, criminal prosecution is like a last resort for tax evasion.  Typically, the IRS will audit, and establish liability, followed by civil collection efforts.  That’s probably what was going on until Mueller decided to jump in and try to extort Manafort into giving him anti-Trump testimony.

    • #30

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