Virginia US District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who warmed the cockles of the hole where drumpf’s heart should be if he had one, and sent Sean Hannity into orgasmic if typically repetitive moans of pleasure a few weeks ago by saying in court….
“I don’t see what relation this indictment has with what the special counsel is authorized to investigate,” Ellis told prosecutors. “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.”
…now sees clearly what relation said indictment of Paulie Numbnuts could have to the election and just denied his lawyers’ motion to dismiss.
“A federal judge on Tuesday denied Paul Manafort’s motion to have the charges filed against him in Virginia by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office dismissed — becoming the second judge to reject Manafort’s challenge to Mueller’s appointment. (snip)
“To be sure, it is plausible, indeed ultimately persuasive here, to argue that the investigation and prosecution has some relevance to the election which occurred months if not years after the alleged misconduct. But in the end, that fact does not warrant dismissal of the Superseding Indictment,” Ellis wrote.
Ellis’s opinion is the latest in a series of setbacks in efforts by Manafort’s lawyers to attack the prosecution, if not knock it out completely. US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, DC, rejected a similar challenge that Manafort raised to Mueller’s authority in the criminal case against him there, and subsequently ordered him jailed pending trial amid new allegations that he tried to interfere with potential witnesses; Manafort is appealing her decision to revoke his pretrial release. (snip)
…in his written opinion on Tuesday, Ellis concluded that Mueller’s investigation of Manafort “falls squarely” under the Russia-specific section of Rosenstein’s appointment order. There was no question that Manafort was part of Trump’s campaign, Ellis wrote, and it was reasonable for prosecutors to explore his previous work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
“To be sure, history is replete with evidence of the existing and longstanding antagonism between the Ukraine and Russia. Indeed, armed conflict in the eastern Ukraine is still underway. Nonetheless, the fact that the Yanukovych was a strongly pro-Russian President warranted the investigation here. The fact that the Russian government did not make payments to defendant directly is not determinative because the text of the May 17 Appointment Order authorizes investigation of ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,'” Ellis wrote.”
In other words, Paulie, cool your heels….