Robert Mueller’s team has been hard at work attempting to tie the President to some sort of Kremlin-backed bid to rig our last presidential election, and in the process, has charged several Trump acquaintances with lesser, unrelated crimes.
The working assumption here is that Mueller is looking to “flip” these guys with plea bargaining, in exchange for dirt on President Trump’s alleged illicit dealings with Vladimir Putin. This is only somewhat hilarious, given that this is exactly the same sort of operating procedures that the President’s colleagues are being accused of in attempting to find information disparaging to Hillary Clinton back in 2016.
Now, after a week of tension in the courtroom, the Judge presiding over the first of these cases, against Paul Manafort, has made an odd decision.
Judge T.S. Ellis III mysteriously delayed testimony Friday in the case of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pushing off the day’s proceedings for hours after prosecutors once again complained about his criticism of them.
It’s not clear if the delay is connected to the complaint filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Ellis on Friday also empathically reminded the jury that they must refrain from talking about the case with others – stoking speculation the delay could be related to juror issues.
But the postponement is significant, as prosecutors had been hoping to finish calling witnesses Friday — and Ellis has a reputation as a strickler for keeping trials moving.
In the Mueller team motion filed Friday morning, they accused the judge of unfairly criticizing them in court, saying it’s possible his recent comments could “confuse and mislead the jury.”