What’s Up with Judge Ellis from the Paul Manafort Trial
August 10, 2018
I think we have seen every range of emotion possible with Judge Ellis, the judge presiding over the Paul Manafort trial. At the minimum, he’s entertaining, and on the other side of the spectrum, he’s tainting the jury.
From apologies to a teary-eyed prosecutor, the question is what is going to happen next?
For reasons that no one knows, the Judge issued a recess that lasted several hours. Before he left the courtroom, he instructed the jury not to discuss the case amongst themselves, which is normal, but then he also commented that jurors should not discuss even the attire of any of the witnesses. Huh? Like Paul Manafort not wearing socks? What is that about?
There were moments of humor, thankfully, when the prosecutor, Greg Andres forgot to admit a document into evidence, to which Judge Ellis said “confession is good for the soul.” Andres responded by saying his soul should be in “pretty good shape” after the trial.
Now, in highly stressful situations, that is funny, but what is not funny is when the judge told the prosecutor they could call their next witness and the prosecution reminded Judge Ellis that the jury wasn’t even in the courtroom.
In addition, another inappropriate statement was made by Judge Ellis before the jury and again, the prosecutors want the Judge to advise the jury to ignore his prior statements.
This could go one of two ways: either the jury turns on the prosecutors thinking there is a reason for Judge Ellis’ attitude towards them, or the reverse affect, making the prosecutors the underdogs facing constant challenges and who isn’t attracted to the underdog? Especially with a judge that constantly apologizes for his actions, but, that does open the door to an appeal for the defense and trust me, they will appeal any conviction.
Regardless, Judge Ellis’ action are subject to scrutiny, at the minimum, at the legal level.
Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
Alexander Hernandez has been representing clients since 1999 in the areas of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Family Law, and Personal Injury.
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