“I don’t see what this indictment (of Paul Manafort) has to do with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate.”

What did he say??

These words were uttered Friday by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia during a hearing concerning the ongoing prosecution of former Trump campaign head Manafort for charges stemming from his activities several years before his work for Trump and previously examined by the FBI. According to a Reuters report, he stated the obvious: that special counsel Robert Mueller should not have unlimited scope in his investigation into Russian election-tampering and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign. “It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special counsel has unfettered power to do whatever he wants,” Ellis said to Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general who is currently working in Mueller’s office and was unlucky enough to be appearing at this hearing.

Ellis said, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort...You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”

It was an “emperor’s new clothes” moment –- one person speaking aloud what most everyone secretly can see but dares not say.


Commentary continues below advertisement


When Dreeben insisted that those allegations were within the scope of Mueller’s probe, Judge Ellis countered, “Cover bank fraud in 2005 2007? Tell me how!”

The judge had a few questions about Rod Rosenstein, too. He wanted to know whether or not Rosenstein is recused from the Manafort case, since Rosenstein oversees the Mueller probe and is considered an important witness in the matter of whether or not Trump obstructed justice. (By the way, that in itself --- that he oversees the investigation and is also a witness, is a stunning conflict of interest.) Dreeben told him that Rosenstein had authorized expanding the scope of the Mueller investigation to include Manafort, so that doesn’t sound like much of a recusal to me.

According to Dreeben, Rosenstein’s order laying out the scope of the probe did not reveal all the details because they relate to sensitive national security and counterintelligence matters that could not be revealed publicly. Judge Ellis was having none of that. He said that kind of answer revealed the Justice Department was “not really telling the truth” about the probe. He went on to complain that another Rosenstein memo expanding the probe was too highly redacted, giving Dreeben two weeks to work with the intelligence agencies to produce for him a sealed, unredacted version.

When Dreeben told him that the redactions had nothing to do with the Manafort case, Ellis replied, “I’ll be the judge.” (This might be a good time to mention that Judge Ellis –- who gives new meaning to the term “superior court judge” –- is a Reagan appointee. Elections matter.)


Commentary continues below advertisement


Most spectacularly of all, Ellis said the Manafort indictment appeared to be intended as a way to “assert leverage” over the defendant. “The vernacular is ‘to sing,’” he said.

These were comments made during a hearing, not part of an actual ruling, but at last a judge has said out loud what we know has been going on. He hasn’t yet issued the ruling on Manafort’s motion to dismiss (Washington DC federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson hasn’t ruled on charges filed in her district, either), I suppose because he’s waiting for that elusive unredacted memo from Rosenstein to Mueller. But we can see from his comments today that he knows what the Mueller team is up to.

READ MORE

PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT. I READ THEM!

OR IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO SEND ME A MESSAGE, GO HERE.

More Stories

Manafort pleads guilty

Comments 1-50 of 97

  • Tina Fox

    05/08/2018 06:03 PM

    Mueller needs to be taken out of office..why are none of the republicans doing anything about the crooked democrats and what they are trying to do to Trump?? Our government is going down hill

  • Margaret Hamm

    05/07/2018 02:47 PM

    It is about time someone spoke up. Is he allowed to go back to President Trump's childhood. He was doing a Russian probe. That should have been the end of it. He is going through millions of taxpayers money that could be used for other things this country needs. I agree with the president, a witch hunt that should be stopped.

  • Cynthia Winkler

    05/07/2018 10:23 AM

    When I studied Civics way back in the dark ages of the 1960s I remember reading it was a government of the people, by the people and for the people. I don't recall anything about lawyers in that statement. And I'm like you, most of the people I talk to are tired of hearing about Russia and Stormy what's-er-name (I was told if you were proud of what you do put your real name on it, apparently she's not proud. Newsflash, we aren't either.) What we are proud of are the things the President we elected is doing for our country. So my question, comment is: how do we legally start a grass-roots movement to make "THEM" leave President Trump alone. Stop the Witch Hunt. There was no crime to charge against him, there should never have been a special counsel appointed. The Counsel has had fourteen months to come up with something and still no crime. STOP...NOW. This is unprecedented treatment of the American people who elected Donald Trump. Not just a man, but all citizens of the USA who voted for him and still support him.

  • Karl Thoma

    05/07/2018 09:06 AM

    This could be a show for the conservatives then the rug gets pulled out from under their feet. Judges can be strong armed too. Just give it a bit more time, Ellis may change his tune and see the light so to speak. The Puppet Masters can be as heavy handed as they need to be to cover their tracks. Although its obvious that this whole Russia investigation is a bunch of poo it needs to remain a smoke screen for a while longer to distract as many people as possible from actual news and to look like it could possibly go the distance so that it can be used as leverage to make other troublesome investigations go away. Boom we are back to ground zero. Republican's lose control of the Congress in the midterms. Gridlock and everything settles back down to smoke and mirrors. The curtain once again is put back in place after some miner scape goats are sent out to pasture. Back to Merica.

  • Jody Maas

    05/06/2018 10:46 AM

    We all get so involved in our personal lives, we don't take the time to thank those who are standing for and with us. Thank you Mike Huckabee for your clear vision, your witty words and succinct way of interpreting the fog of political rhetoric. Both hoping and praying that with the courage 77 year old Judge Ellis has demonstrated that others within the Judiciary Branch and Legislative Branch will follow suit.

  • Michael Walters

    05/06/2018 04:19 AM

    Well, Governor, it would appear that the cat is out of the hat. Why can't Manafort's attorney present the findings from the fraud case in 2005, justifying Mr. Manaforts innocense as concluded at that time? It appears to me that there are so many obvious facts available to the President's team, and the teams of the other victims of this "Witch Hunt", to end this miscarriage of justice. Also, why can't the President form a team and go to the DOJ and collect the evidence that they have been requesting for months now? After all, he is the President and he has the power. There is just too much bureaucratic bs to prevent such an action, I assume. Rules and regs. that must be followed in the everyday operations of the departments involved. I think I would be forced to declare the extraordinary circumstances here and overrule the normal protocol. We're talking about the wasteful use of the taxpayer's money at a time of extreme debt on the part of the Government as a whole. Surely something can be done to stop this travesty? It's quite irritating to watch with absolutely no control what-so-ever. I would be interested to hear your comments on this proposal. I realize I'm probably way out of line with reality to think that this could be solved so simply. Love you Gov. and your daughter too! God Bless, Michael Walters

  • Zena Blackstone

    05/06/2018 12:20 AM

    I hope the judge has full time body guards.

  • Tim Carroll

    05/06/2018 12:15 AM

    If Rosenstein and/or Mueller have exceeded authority and/or violated other legal boundaries, would this give POTUS an unassailable argument within the law to fire them?

  • Tom Reiva

    05/05/2018 10:41 PM

    When will Mueller ever wise up and quit wasting my tax dollars on a frivolous witch hunt case? Oh wait, he's part of the deep state and so liberal, he's incapable of wising up.

  • Freda McClure

    05/05/2018 10:37 PM

    I have asked Robert Mueller numerous times to step aside
    Because he is biased. He will stop at nothing to get president Trump and has overstepped his bounds now he has decided to charge him with something. No investigator should be over the president. He has only done good for the USA. Please help us get past this time in the USA if we need an investigator he needs to be unbiased.

  • Wanda & Jake Morgan

    05/05/2018 09:14 PM

    Finally! A JUDGE that is honest and sees through the politics. SOMEONE needs to FIRE Mueler & Rosensteen. I cannot believe Jeff Sessions doesn't end this charade. HE can simply end it by stating..."Investigation is done, you've finished your job." Then the entire bunch should be prosecuted for their actions along with Hillary! SOMEONE DO SOMETHING & quit using our taxpayer's money for this democratic witch-hunt!

  • Glenda Kee

    05/05/2018 08:44 PM

    APPARENTLY MUELLER DOESN'T FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS VERY WELL OR EITHER MISUNDERSTOOD WHAT HE WAS SUPPOSE TO INVESTIGATE. I UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WOULD BE INVESTIGATING THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION. HOWEVER HE HAS BRANCHED OUT INTO Many other directions. This is to me is unlawful. Why is he being allowed to do this? Why is he allowed to randomly destroy peoples lives? Why is he being allowed to be awarded so much of the taxpayers money and also who approved him to hire all of the excess people in his investigation? Is Mueller paying them out of his pocket? Stormy Daniels has nothing whatsoever to do with the current Presidency. Both Muller and Rosenstein should be gone on the first flight out, so far as I am concerned. I am sick of their crap and they'er doing everything in their power to delay Our President in his work. Dems are only happy if they can keep stiring the pot. GOD BLESS YOU TODAY AND FOREVER MIKE HUCKABEE AND PRESIDENT TRUMP AND ALSO YOUR FAMILIES. BY THE WAY, I AM SUPER PROUD OF SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS AND I KNOW YOU ARE ALSO.

  • Billie R Hayworth

    05/05/2018 08:09 PM

    YEA JUDGE T.S. ELLIS lll!!!! YOU GO SIR AND DON'T STOP UNTIL YOU INJURE THE SWAMP!
    MAY THEY SEE THEIR FAVORITE PROCTOLOGISTS, BUY AND OINTMENT AND RUB IT ON THE HOLE THAT HURTS THE WORST!!!!!!!
    BLESS JUDGE T.S. ELLIS THE THIRD!!!
    BH

  • Waylon Bush

    05/05/2018 06:54 PM

    Wow! Someone who knows and says the truth.
    Now for the second chapter: There will be an attempt (probably successful) to get Ellis dismissed from hearing the case. I don't know what method (trick, gimmick, facade, etc.) will be used, but a way will be found.

  • ROSE HARRIS

    05/05/2018 06:43 PM

    I am so glad that someone has the courage to voice what most of us have felt since this mess all started. God bless this Judge and may he have the courage to stand by his words

  • ROSE HARRIS

    05/05/2018 06:42 PM

    I am so glad that someone has the courage to voice what most of us have felt since this mess all started. God bless this Judge and may he have the courage to stand my his words

  • Paulette Wingard

    05/05/2018 06:37 PM

    Some common sense seems to be finding its way back into Washington. Hope it continues. The effort to re-open the investigation of Hillary Clinton and obstruction of justice by numerous individuals in the Obama administration desperately needs to continue but I doubt there are more than 10 members of Congress with the courage to make it happen.

  • Don Frix

    05/05/2018 06:16 PM

    Mike, almost everyone is fed up with all of this.....it must end now!!!

  • Kathy Wingate

    05/05/2018 06:07 PM

    Praise God!!! Finally a judge who is not afraid to say what he is thinking!! I wish they all would...Mueller has gone way over the top, as has, and they need to be forced to put on the brakes....or be fired by the IG, or anyone authorized to fire them. Perhaps they could be stormed at 4am and indicted for their overreach, and prejudice.
    The Dems have a stated objective of impeaching POTUS, so, they are clearly prejudiced. You know, Obama could have been treated like this, and really, more likely deserved it, that whole administration was corrupt. I think they're trying to discourage "outsiders", non-politicians from running for office...I hope they don't succeed.

  • Donna Thorne

    05/05/2018 05:31 PM

    Well, I think it's just about time someone got to the bottom of this farce. On a side note, Mr. Huckabee, thank you for the way you raised your daughter, Sarah. We are sure proud of her, undoubtedly, you are as well!

  • Karen Russell

    05/05/2018 04:55 PM

    I think we the people need to do more than say we have had enough. We need an experienced rally organizer to lead a huge march on Washington demanding the witch hunt be stopped and the real deep state culprits be brought to justice. We need to demand that fed agencies give up the required documents or face imprisonment. As in the last election we have to make our voices be heard.

  • Dana L Lind

    05/05/2018 04:53 PM

    It never ceases to amaze me how two different elections can produce such different judges. If this case had been held on the west coast, Manafort would be sitting in jail right now. Thank God there are still judges with common sense.

  • wima faulkner

    05/05/2018 04:51 PM

    You an fox news having been sharing and telling what we the people having been believing all along . Muller was determined to get rid of our President since the day he was elected . It was planned from day one . We always believed that Hillary and her team of liberal democrats are behind this . They have shown to be evil and crooked . We are in hope that him and everyone on his team go to jail over this . Thank you so much for getting this to us . I just love you . I love hearing you talk . I loved you as our Governor .

  • Joseph Behrendt

    05/05/2018 03:55 PM

    Once again proof positive that the GOP are a bunch of whimpering democrats or just as stupid as the leftists. They are what the legal profession has become. We all know they know what Mueller is trying to do and they won't put a stop to it. The cowards are to afraid of the liberal media and the Killary mob. It is time to clear the swamp of politicians and replace them with Americans in Part time jobs. No more life long multimillionaires from tax payers money.

  • Kathryn Caputo

    05/05/2018 03:37 PM

    Alleluia and Amen. It's about time. God bless and watch over Judge Ellis and his family. I hope more judges would be as courageous and act ccordingly.

  • Paul Phaneuf

    05/05/2018 03:36 PM

    Mike, I've likened Mueller's unlimited power and techniques to an Inquisitor, for obvious reasons; secondly, the way they ruin people financially, even those simply called as witnesses, is a form of Enhanced Interrogation. Special Prosecutors are an arm of Gov't. All Gov't power is limited by God given Unalienable Rights and our Constitution. Enough is enough. I hate to think of the consequences, and I do not advocate for this, but God forbid, a free people will only tolerate so much abuse.

  • Carol Johnson

    05/05/2018 02:49 PM

    I can only say it's about time! The tentacles of Mr. Mueller are too many and too long. This HAS to stop. Rudy Giuliani sites the world situation with North Korea, Israel, China trade, immigration, the wall--so many things that need the President's attention, and we have to hear about Stormy Daniels? And Michael Cohen? The swamp is muckier than anyone knew! Keep up the good work, Governor Huckabee! And thank you for what you do!

  • Patricia A. McMahon

    05/05/2018 02:25 PM

    AMEN! The Emperor is naked and we all know it. Thank heavens someone of authority has called
    Muellar out! I hope the Judge keeps on top of this. I have a concern that the 'deep state' will find a way to judge shop this out of his court.

  • Linda Mahan

    05/05/2018 02:24 PM

    I am personally along with many in America getting extremely sick of this special consul ( execution squad) breaking every law in the book and having no one to rule over the laws they are squatting on. If after all this fiasco nothing is found, these people should have to repay legal fees to all the people wronged by their witch hunt. Salem at the government level!!!

  • Glenda Piacenti

    05/05/2018 02:10 PM

    This is good to hear, but we are all waiting for that "silver bullet" that puts an end to this so called "investigation". It's nothing more that throwing things against the wall to see what sticks and we are all paying for it!

  • Sue Parks

    05/05/2018 01:56 PM

    At the age of 73, I don't understand why no one can put an end to what is being done to our president. Can't any one, here on earth, stop these corrupt democrats?

  • Diane Herring

    05/05/2018 01:45 PM

    Why, oh why, are the Republicans allowing Mueller and his minions to badger, impoverish, and make lives miserable for the members of the Republican Party who were part of the Trump Presidential Campaign, no matter how low on the totem pole a person may have been? Where exactly is this leading and WHY can't the swamp be drained?

  • Linda Radosevich

    05/05/2018 01:44 PM

    FINALLY! An honest judge with common sense!

  • Christine Kerekffy

    05/05/2018 01:04 PM

    Finally! Now maybe others will start speaking out against what is going on with Mueller and his entrapment team.

  • Everett Coates

    05/05/2018 01:03 PM

    It is critically important to pray for Judge Ellis and his family. They could be in danger of having a tragic accident. What better way to discourage others from expressing the truth? I put nothing beyond the evil men in Washington. Sad to say that the majority of people in the US will never hear about this courageous judge because they get their news from the "media".

  • Lloyd Sanders

    05/05/2018 12:58 PM

    Bully for Judge Ellis! Such a breath of fresh air to see a glimmer of truth beaming through the dark clouds of injustice. He certainly cut to the chase and hopefully provided a reset on this whole fiasco. Mueller and his comrades have lost their way through their unbridled pursuit of an illusion they believe to exist if they can only break in enough doors. It is as plain as a diamond in a goat's tail running uphill - there is no collusion.

  • Ben Johnston

    05/05/2018 12:44 PM

    So, Mr. Mueller, in spite of his background, feels he is entitled to be Dictator! I suppose he (and Pelosi and Schumer) feel this is necessary in order for them to control America. I am very thankful for and grateful to Judge Ellis for his direction in this case.

  • Allen M Swatsworth

    05/05/2018 12:41 PM

    Governor, Excellent article. Nice to see someone in the judicial system stand up to the deep state. I did find a problem though. when I click the "Read More" link at the end of the article it gave me an error message. I would like to read the attached article. Thanks.

  • Teddye Stephan

    05/05/2018 12:37 PM

    contrary to popular belief, judges are not as stupid as these democratic criminals think they are. To use the vernacular, they are not about to be BSed by democratic mumbo jumbo. This is a good sign, now we need a few more judges to say "I am NOT buying what you are selling. Lies and half truths and making no PRETEXT to hid the fact that this is nothing more than a blatant attempt to impeach a sitting president." When everyone admits that is the case, the whole thing is going to crumble under it's own weight, of lies and cover up.

  • Samuel Willingham

    05/05/2018 12:28 PM

    Governor Huckabee

    You have raised an incredible daughter.

    Blessings
    Sammy Willingham
    229-881-2519

  • Carole Leandra

    05/05/2018 12:26 PM

    Thanks for this update. Judge Ellis has some common sense and the political will to stand up to Mueller. I hope he throws the whole thing out and Judge Amy follows suit. I think it is time that the American public demanded an end to the Mueller probe.

  • Sharon Lane

    05/05/2018 12:18 PM

    Finally, someone with some common sense and an unbiased view of the situation.

  • Hal Perry

    05/05/2018 12:17 PM

    It is a witch hunt and has been from the start. Everyone with a brain knows
    what is going on. "We the People" will have none of that and it's time that
    they figured this out. All of this nonsense is assuring that the Republicans
    will win the next elections. Now if we could just get rid of the Rino's so that
    we could make America Great Again!

  • Teddye Stephan

    05/05/2018 12:08 PM

    Dear Governor Huckabee,
    Judge Ellis is absolutely right! I've heard the word 'witch-hunt' used ubiquitously to define what's going on in this 'investigation.' It probably is a witch-hunt, but what is dangerous it is mainly an attempt to get the legally elected President Trump removed from office. I prefer to call it treason!!! As in the old book, "None Dare Call It Treason."
    I have written a piece on violations of the Logan Act in which I refer to former Secretary of State John Kerry as a violator, also the former President of the United States.
    In any invent, some of these swamp and former swamp people should be prosecuted for, as a minimum, Treason!!!
    Keep up the great work!!
    Also your daughter is doing a magnificent job as President Trump's Press Secretary. She has handled herself magnificently when 'under fire' in and out of the Press Room!!!
    George Phelps (Decorated Korean War Combat Veteran)
    League City, Texas

  • Maria Porzio

    05/05/2018 12:03 PM

    Many of us (well, all of us with a brain and a modicum of patriotism, fairness, and support for our Constitution and the law) are hoping this is finally the beginning of the end of this illegitimate so-called investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, which anyone without their head in the sand has known from day one has no supporting evidence - maybe because it's not true? Mueller & Co's fishing expedition has gone on far too long (should not have even begun in the first place), and overreach is a vast understatement. Why has no one been able to reign in or stop this 3-ring circus yet? Where is Congress pressuring the DOJ and FBI? Some actions are being taken, but it's not happening fast enough, and maybe is too little too late. And when our elected reps in DC would rather protect a runaway prosecutor than the Constitution, the rule of law, executive powers, and even the presidency itself, we indeed are on the path to becoming a corrupt banana republic being run by dictatorial Dems who seek only power for themselves, not the preservation and betterment of the USA and its legal citizens. It isn't just sad but also dangerous that the reason for ALL of this stems from a learned and propagated hatred with no bounds toward one man, Donald J Trump, who does not remotely deserve this level of nonstop attacks, lies, vitriol, and slander. In fact, I can think of few if any people in US history who have been so unfairly treated by so many people and groups. It is a shame. Stop this sham and let the man govern - let his actions and deeds determine if We the People wish to continue with President Trump into a second term or not. That decision should NOT be in the hands of corrupt elected or unelected gov't officials/bureaucrats, the Democrats and RINOs, the deep state, Hol-lib-wood, or the mainstream media. Honestly, if they all keep this up and esp. if they ever do impeach or oust our President, they will turn him into a martyr...and all that ensues will be their fault. Praying for our President and all those around him and for our nation to come to its senses. Whatever has happened to TRUTH, JUSTICE, and the AMERICAN WAY?

  • Barbara Garfield

    05/05/2018 12:03 PM

    Hooray for the Judge!

  • Paula

    05/05/2018 11:59 AM

    Thank you very much for keeping "us" informed! Your daughter is fabulous!

  • Tommy Thompson

    05/05/2018 11:54 AM

    Keep up the good work!!! It would be nice if all republicans would get behind the president!!

  • Ronald Beattie

    05/05/2018 11:51 AM

    Mueller should end this witch hunt now. Tell everyone what he found and be done with this mess. The AG should see what the Clintons had to do with Russia. I would like to know also what Obama college records hold .

  • Elaine Herring

    05/05/2018 11:48 AM

    Well, it's about doggone time!