Judge loses his cool with Mueller’s prosecutors, ends court early

As Paul Manafort’s trial continues, Judge T.S. Ellis III is beginning to lose his patience with Mueller’s prosecuting team.

When the prosecution tried to pull a fast one on the jury, the judge berated the attorneys, then ordered an early recess.

Act Professional

The judge’s blowup occurred from an “expert” witness testimony.

The prosecution had called J. Phillip Ayliff, a certified public accountant.

Ayliff was there to lay the groundwork for terminology and explain what a tax preparation company does for its clients.

After a testimony that seemed to go on forever, Judge Ellis finally had enough.

The prosecution attempted to have one of Manafort’s e-forms submitted.

While denying the request, Ellis told the prosecution, “NO!” then told prosecutors, “You move it along!”

Enough

The prosecuting attorneys were visibly shaken by Judge Ellis’ rebuke, but it was about to get worse.

One of the terms he was being asked to define, “financial interest,” had already been agreed upon by the prosecution and defense.

When prosecutors proceeded to ask Ayliff to define the term for the jurors, Judge Ellis immediately called for a bench conference.

Judge Ellis then called for the early recess and excused the jurors.

Before leaving the bench, though, the judge explained to the courtroom exactly what had happened during the bench conference.

This is when Judge Ellis informed everyone of the gross mistake made by the prosecution in trying to present Ayliff as an expert witness as well as creating possible confusion with an already agreed upon definition for the term “financial interest.”

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Ellis believed any further defining by Ayliff would only create more confusion for the jury members.

Thus far, both sides have made some rather hefty mistakes, but the judge seems to be clearly fed up with the antics of the prosecution.

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