After days of being dressed down by the judge overseeing the Paul Manafort case, federal prosecutors sought Thursday to put their foot down — filing a motion complaining that Judge T.S. Ellis III had unfairly admonished them in front of the jury.
Ellis has memorably and repeatedly criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during the trial for the former Trump campaign chairman. On Wednesday, Ellis ripped into prosecutors for letting a witness, IRS Agent Michael Welsh, sit in the courtroom before his testimony.
But in a five-page motion filed Thursday, Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann and other attorneys on the team claimed Ellis had actually granted permission earlier in the trial for the witness to remain in the room during proceedings.
“The court’s reprimand of government counsel suggested to the jury—incorrectly—that the government had acted improperly and in contravention of court rules,” the prosecutors wrote. “This prejudice should be cured.”
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