The hearing was held to examine whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation have misused their power.
At a tense hearing on May 4 in Alexandria, Virginia, Judge T.S. Ellis III stated that tax- and bank-fraud charges against Manafort had nothing to do with Mueller's probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 USA election or tried to obstruct justice.
A federal judge criticized special counsel Robert Mueller and the scope of his team's probe Friday morning during a hearing related to fraud charges brought against former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort.
"That's what you're really interested in", said Ellis, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. But Manafort had the right to have the case heard in Virginia, because that is where the alleged misconduct in the Virginia indictment occurred.
"It appears now that the Judge will get the real documents without reactions, and that the prosecutorial over reach will spiral in to a formal case of prosecutorial misconduct and the charges against Mr. Manafort dismissed or at least substantially reduced, thus undermining the scope of Robert Mueller's 'witch hunt". "Let me tell you folks..."
Reciting more positive economic news Friday, including a drop in the unemployment rate to an 18-year low of 3.9 percent, the president said, "and yet all we hear about is the phony Russian Federation witch hunt". "It's really a disgrace".
A federal judge has rebuked the special counsel investigating alleged collusion between Trump aides and Russian Federation, for overstepping his bounds in a criminal case against the president's former campaign manager.
Manafort is facing charges in both Virginia and Washington.
"It covers bank fraud in 2005 and 2007?" Ellis went on to say that defense lawyers are naturally concerned that defendants in that situation will not only sing but "compose" - meaning that they'll make up facts.
Facebook accidentally launches "hate speech" button
We've reached out to Facebook for comment on this unusual hate speech dialog box, and will update this article when we hear back. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have been accused by conservative and right-leaning groups of censoring their speech.
The CNN video, which you can watch above, shows Trump calling CNN fake news (not without a dig at NBC News for possibly being "maybe more distorted and worse", given the wiretap story correction) and then reading CNN's reporting as proof that a witch hunt is afoot.
In an August 2, 2017, memo, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized Mueller to investigate whether Manafort "committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych".
Asked to explain why Rosenstein's May 2017 order outlining the scope of the investigation did not reveal all the details, the special counsel lawyer said it was because the material involved sensitive national security and counterintelligence matters.
Although Mueller's authority has been tested in court before, Friday's hearing was notable for District Judge T.S. Ellis' decision to wade into the divisive political debate around the investigation.
Michael Dreeben, a prosecutor with the special counsel's office, did not respond specifically to the judge's assertions.
The judge replied that the second memo was highly redacted. Manafort issued a statement at the time saying he would continue to maintain his innocence.
"I've been saying that for a long time", Trump said.
Instead, the judge argued, Mueller's sole objective is the "prosecution or impeachment" of President Donald Trump. "Why is NY different?" Giuliani contends it was not a contribution, because it didn't come from Trump's campaign funds. Manafort headed Trump's campaign for about five months.
The president said such agreements are "very common among celebrities and people of wealth".