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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.

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.

White House Guests KNEEL During National Anthem, Trump Makes Them Immediately Regret It

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The Marine Corp band in their bright red uniforms were on the south balcony of the White House on a bright, sunny Tuesday in Washington, DC. The Army Chorus sang, beginning the event with ‘America the Beautiful’ and concluded with ‘God Bless America’. At least two people who were guests at President Trump’s Celebration of America event yesterday knelt, showing exactly why so many Americans are ticked over the National Anthem controversy.

The event replaced a celebration at the White House in honor of the Super Bowl win for the Philadelphia Eagles. These two disrespectful idiots took a knee as the “Star Spangled Banner” rang out across the South Lawn of the White House. Simply disgraceful. These aren’t social justice warriors… these are unpatriotic jerks.

A video was posted to Twitter by a reporter for SVT, the Swedish national public TV broadcaster. It shows a man, wearing a light blue button down, kneeling as the National Anthem played, before clapping and ultimately coming to his feet after the song finished. I guess he thought that was his five minutes of fame or something.

What it really amounted to was making a fool out of himself internationally. President Trump showcases all of these liberal dimwits for what they are… America-hating, radical leftists who are far more interested in hating our brave police officers and our country than they are in respecting America and taking national pride in their country and President.

When President Trump took the podium, he blew his audience away with his love for our country, military, police, flag and the National Anthem. He made every single person who disrespects them like this look like the small, craven liberals that they really are. The man, who did not identify himself, left the event immediately after the United States Marine Band performed the anthem, according to a news anchor for TV2 Denmark. Gee, crawling away with his tail between his legs like the lowly cur he his. Guess he couldn’t stand patriotism after he showed how much he hates his own country.

There was a second man who was pictured kneeling as well. That was posted to Twitter by a CNN White House producer. He was wearing a light blue checkered shirt and had a little American flag. This guy was right up front. He was also apparently the same person who reportedly heckled Trump. That guy was roundly booed by everyone around him. CNN’s analyst April Ryan posted false news on Twitter yesterday claiming people were booing Trump when it was the heckler they went after. She eventually retracted what she said after her own colleagues called her out on the lie. “Stop hiding behind the armed services and the National Anthem,” the guy yelled to a chorus of boos, according to the Daily Mail. “Let’s hear it for the Eagles.” “Go home,” one person shouted at the heckler.

Do YOU think we have the best President and First Lady ever? Follow Amanda Shea on Twitter to get RIGHT daily insight!

The President didn’t engage the heckler, but looked in his direction and pursed his lips. He looked like he wanted to smack him. Right there with ya.

President Trump disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House after they at first said they had more than 70 players coming to the People’s House to celebrate. By this week, that number had dropped to less than ten and then to only one player. They kept trying to change the date to one where President Trump would be out of the country. I don’t blame the President in the least for canceling the visit. That was totally appropriate. If you insist on being ungrateful and insulting a sitting President of the United States, then you don’t deserve the honor of going to the White House period.

Trump claimed on Monday that the team disagreed “with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.” Eagles players denied that accusation, pointing out that no one on the team knelt for the anthem during last season. But that has nothing to do with how each individual on the team states his beliefs and shows his disrespect for President Trump.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused the team of a “political stunt” just minutes before Tuesday’s alternative event began, claiming the players had chosen to “abandon their fans.” That’s exactly what they did. “If this wasn’t a political stunt by the Eagles franchise then they wouldn’t have committed to attend the event and then backed out,” she said in her Tuesday press briefing. “And if it wasn’t a political stunt, they wouldn’t have attempted to reschedule the visit while the President was overseas.”

Trump was brief in his remarks and only spoke for about four minutes. He began by explaining why it’s an issue of patriotism for Americans to stand for the National Anthem. “We love our flag and stand for our National Anthem,” Trump said to great applause from the crowd on the South Lawn of the White House. “We stand to honor our military and to honor country and to honor the fallen heroes who never made it back home.” Yes, we do… and those that don’t can take a hike.

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Melania Unveils This Year’s White House Christmas Decorations That Libs Are SURE To Hate

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Melania Trump’s first year in office was marked by immense criticism of our incredible first lady, who in the eyes of the Trump family’s numerous detractors, Melania could do nothing right, or at least as well as her predecessor, Michelle Obama. This included her full Christmas decor plan, which was stunning in silver and white, and a beautiful modern take on the same tired style that Michelle un-creatively came up with.

This year’s decorations will likely be no different, if not worse.

Last year, liberals claimed she decked the halls in depression and gloom, likening it to looking more like a haunted house than a holiday home. So, what will they say about this year’s new look?

Chicks On The Right reports:

FLOTUS doesn’t just slay on the fashion front. Her decorating skills are off the charts. (Yes, yes– I know she didn’t do this by herself, but if you really believe she didn’t have a say, you’re nuuuuuuuuuuuuts.)

ANYWHO. She finally unveiled this year’s White House Christmas decorations, and they’re GORGEOUS.

You have no idea how much I want to stroll through those halls of beautifully decorated trees. Oh well. I’ll have to settle for the aisles of Hobby Lobby.

It all looks great. I’m obsessed. TY, that is all.

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