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Judge Has Had It With Mueller Team, Abruptly Ends Court After Their Humiliating Screw-Up

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The trial of former Trump presidential campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in Virginia on more than a dozen criminal counts of bank fraud and tax evasion has begun this past week. Day three was abruptly cut short when Judge T.S. Ellis lost patience with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of attorneys. The 78-year-old Reagan-appointed judge banged his gavel and declared multiple recesses, sending jurors out of the courtroom on multiple occasions. He took no prisoners as he repeatedly reminded prosecutors that Manafort is not on trial for simply being wealthy and living the accompanying “lavish lifestyle.”

The prosecution is attempting to paint Manafort as someone who made millions off some of the world’s most disreputable characters, gambling on the fact that the more that jurors learn of Manafort, the less likely they are to find him relatable or likable. For this reason, they are attempting to put Manafort’s lavish lifestyle on trial in an effort to place a wide social and economic chasm between him and the jury, thus making them less sympathetic to his plight.

Through a bevy of exhibits and witnesses, prosecutors are attempting to paint Manafort as a tax scofflaw who for years successfully failed to report money spent on luxury items to the IRS —  then lied to get bank loans when his foreign consulting work dried up. Given that the IRS is arguably one of the most hated government agencies – that may not be quite as successful as Mueller’s team might hope.

The prosecution is attempting to call a myriad of minor witnesses, from a ticket vendor for the New York Yankees to a high-end tailor to a Mercedes Benz salesman. Their intention to prejudice jurors with details about his six homes, $2 million worth of antiques, a $500,000 landscaping bill, the two silk rugs costing $160,000, and almost $1.5 million in clothes for himself has been derailed by none other than Ellis himself as he continues to highlight glaring and huge potential vulnerabilities in the first prosecution arising out of Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe.

Trending: James Comey Just Caught In Major New Scandal – Hillary Would Be Proud!

Fox News notes – “During opening arguments Tuesday, the defense team made it clear they intend to blame Gates, who handled some day-to-day business operations for Manafort, for many of the alleged reporting deficiencies Manafort is charged with.

Ellis interjected during the prosecutors’ opening statement to remind jurors that wealth alone is not criminal, and he rebuked a prosecutor in front of the jury for saying that the “evidence will show” Manafort’s guilt.

‘It isn’t a crime to have a lot of money and be profligate in your spending,’ Ellis said.

Jurors also heard Tuesday that Manafort bought an ostrich jacket worth more than $15,000. That prompted Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to issue a statement calling for Manafort to turn over the jacket, which was ‘likely made from numerous juvenile ostriches whose throats were slit and whose feathers were plucked out.'”

Ellis had harshly admonished members of Mueller’s team in a tense preliminary hearing in May, saying they “don’t care” about Manafort and were pursuing the case against the 69-year-old ex-Trump adviser only as a means of targeting the president.

A housekeeping issue prior to the jury’s entrance set the tone on day two. Ellis instructed the prosecution that he had no intention of wasting the Court’s going through mountains of exhibits to belabor two basic points that the government’s attorneys were expected to prove – (1) that Manafort directly diverted income from his business to his own personal use without claiming it on his taxes; and (2) attempted to hide this by use of offshore accounts.

This was after testimony was given from the prosecution’s first witness – Daniel Rabin, one of Manafort’s long-serving associates in the Ukraine. Each time a witness was called by the prosecution to testify, government attorneys essentially had them leafing through page after paragraph (after page after paragraph…) of evidence. Ellis emphatically instructed the prosecution – “Just ask him the question! You don’t want them leafing through memos.”

Despite this explicit instruction, the prosecution decided to test Ellis’ theory (and patience) in this regard.

Law & Crime reports – “‘FBI Special Agent Matthew Mikuska was the ‘seizing agent’ who took part in the July raid on Manafort’s Alexandria condominium. After being allowed to recount the day of the search warrant in excruciating detail, Judge Ellis grew weary of government attempts to have Mikuska explain various documents he was only familiar with due to his presence at the execution of the search warrant.

On top of that, Mikuska was completely unaware of how the FBI gained access to a spare key for Manafort’s apartment and the entry fob for Manafort’s locked garage. Without anyone commenting directly on this, Mikuska’s admission made waves through the court. One juror looked particularly annoyed by the news and later laughed when Ellis said Mikuska wasn’t qualified to comment on a luxury clothing label affixed to one of Manafort’s suits.

In fact, it was mostly Mikuska’s testimony that led Ellis to begin his multiple lectures as to why the government can’t tar and feather Manafort based on his wealth and spending habits alone. Or, rather, the prosecution’s repeat attempts to have the special agent testify about those documents which mostly showed nothing but lavish purchases by the Manafort family.”

One exhibit was not allowed into evidence altogether because according to Ellis it only showed Manafort’s “lavish lifestyle,” and was therefore irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial, under Federal Rule of Evidence 402.

Ellis stated – “Enough is enough. We don’t convict people because they’re rich and throw their money around…To parade all of this is unnecessary, irrelevant and could be unfairly prejudicial.”

Those same sentiments were echoed by Ellis at least a dozen or more times – all directed at the prosecution. The prosecution in the meantime continued to demonstrate an unhealthy fixation on stating and re-stating dollar amounts.

Fox News notes – “Among his other rebukes, Ellis on Wednesday told prosecutors to stop using the word “oligarch” to describe wealthy Ukrainians, whose dealings with Manafort are at the heart of the fraud charges he faces in the northern Virginia federal court. He said the term is a “pejorative” that would risk unfairly prejudicing jurors against Manafort.”

Ellis was infuriated by the continued disregard for his instructions after prosecution elicited detailed and lengthy testimony regarding a pergola built for one of Manafort’s daughters. Ellis scathingly lauded the “exquisite detail” summoned for the testimony, then slammed it as completely irrelevant. This same scenario was repeated over and over again into Day 3.

Opening arguments on Thursday were notably tense as the last witness was called to the stand. Testimony followed by J. Philip Ayliff, a certified public accountant (CPA) at Paul Manafort’s long-serving tax-preparation agency, Kositzka, Wicks and Co. (KWC), of Richmond, Virginia.

Ayliff’s initial testimony was an attempt to provide jurors with foundational knowledge of the basic functions of a tax-preparation company. Prosecutors then attempted to move to more specific information and attempted to “publish” one of Manafort’s e-file forms. Ellis promptly lost his patience in a spectacular display complete with an actual and pronounced finger-wag–before he shouted – “No! You move it along!”

The prosecution took a moment to compose themselves and then asked Ayliff to define the term “financial interest” only to be promptly cut off by Ellis noting that Ayliff was not a noticed expert. Attorneys for the prosecution and the defense were then asked to address the bench where a lengthy bench conference ensued. Upon resuming, the jury promptly learned that Ayliff’s testimony had been deferred, potentially indefinitely.

Then, Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye pushed Ellis too far when he asked about yet another term of art listed on Manafort’s federal tax forms. Ellis stood up and asked Ayliff to wait, then promptly announced the court would recess early. After the jury filed out, Ellis took a few minutes to fill the press and the public in on what transpired during the bench conference.

Apparently, not only was Ayliff a non-noticed witness being asked to give the equivalent of expert testimony, but both the prosecution and the defense had previously agreed on exactly what the term “financial interest” meant. Not only had they agreed, but said agreement had been provided in jury instructions approved by both sides. As Ayliff was neither an expert, noticed or otherwise as required by the Federal Rules of Evidence, prosecution’s line of questioning and Ayliff’s testimony could have “confused or clouded” things for the jury,” according to Ellis.

 

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Here’s What Just Happened To The Number Of Incoming Dems Supporting Trump Impeachment

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And just like the right was predicting all along it’s starting to look like a very small number of newly elected House Democrats are actually putting impeachment at the top of their agenda. Even after all the noise, they made these past two years where they accused President Trump of every criminal act they could dream of.

Here is more via The Daily Caller:

“The number of newly elected Democrats in the House of Representatives who are putting immediate impeachment at the top of their agenda is surprisingly small for the level of chatter the subject has received since Donald Trump became president, according to an analysis of their statements.

As the freshmen class of House Democrats heads to Capitol Hill for orientation, an analysis from The Washington Post revealed Tuesday that only 11, or 21 percent, have said they want to immediately begin the impeachment process for Trump.

Thirteen Democratic freshmen oppose the move despite the loud impeachment calls early on in his presidency by Democrats.

The largest chunk of the cohort, 17 individuals or 33 percent, said they’d prefer to wait until special counsel Robert Mueller releases his team’s report on the Russia investigation before deciding to move forward with impeachment.

The remaining 11 Democratic House freshmen have not commented or made strong arguments either way, according to the analysis. (RELATED: A Record Number Of Women Ran For Office, But Did They Win?)

While it is unknown when Mueller will release his findings on whether Trump or his circle had any involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, top Democrats have used the report as a point of contingency, and in turn have slowed down impeachment talks in recent weeks.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he hopes Democrats wait until the Mueller report is out before moving forward with impeachment in an Oct. 18 interview with CBS.

“I hope they don’t. I don’t think there’s a basis for doing that right now,” Biden, a current Democratic favorite for a potential bid to the 2020 presidency, said. “There are so many things to attend to immediately. Let’s see where the investigation takes us.”

House Minority Leader and potential Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi took a slightly different approach in a Sunday interview with The Atlantic, saying that while she doesn’t want to impeach Trump, the Mueller probe will not define that decision.

“Recognize one point,” Pelosi said. “What Mueller might not think is indictable could be impeachable.”

A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Monday revealed the majority of Americans, 51 percent of voters, don’t support impeachment either.

While a little more than half of overall voters say the Democratic-controlled House should not begin the impeachment process for Trump, the majority of Democrats, 61 percent, want Congress to begin the proceedings in 2019.”

Could this be because they really do know all this rhetoric was only so they could gain power again and nothing else?

Good luck explaining this to the far left wing “mob” you all created!

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Chick-fil-A Just Announced Monumental Change To Company – Many Will Be Happy

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I’m sure this will make many people happy. This is a good company. I can see their popularity will get higher after this announcement.

Good for them!

From CBS Philly:

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Now you can “Eat Mor Chikin” from the comfort of your home

Chick-fil-A is now available for delivery nationwide. The chain is partnering with DoorDash to bring its famous chicken sandwiches to you.

Delivery from any of the participating 1,100 nationwide restaurants begins today.

As part of the celebration, Chick-fil-A and DoorDash will give away up to 200,000 free chicken sandwiches from now until next Tuesday when placing an order through DoorDash with the promo code “CFADELIVERY.”

“So many of our guests’ busy lives and family commitments have them strapped for time,” Chick-fil-A senior vice president and chief marketing officer Jon Bridges said. “Delivery is one way we can help them get a quick yet high quality meal.”

The bad news: delivery is only available for customers within a 10-minute radius of participating restaurants.

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