Judge in Manafort trial: 'I was probably wrong' to criticize prosecutors

Source: The Hill | August 9, 2018 | Michael Burke

The judge in the criminal trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on Thursday reportedly told jurors he was wrong for criticizing prosecutors earlier in the week.

Judge T.S. Ellis said he was “probably wrong” for criticizing prosecutors over one of their witnesses, IRS revenue agent Michael Welch, being in the courtroom observing the trial leading up to his testimony, according to CNN.

On Wednesday, Ellis reportedly scolded prosecutors in front of jurors over Welch’s presence in the courtroom, saying he doesn’t allow witnesses to watch trials. But prosecutors said they had previously received Ellis’s approval to have Welch in the courtroom, something transcripts confirmed, according to Politico.

“Well, let me be clear: I don’t care what the transcript says,” Ellis reportedly said. “Maybe I made a mistake. But I want you to remember: don’t do that again.”

Before the trial resumed on Thursday, prosecutors filed a motion requesting that Ellis, a Reagan appointee, walk back his comments and tell jurors that the prosecution had done nothing wrong, according to NBC News.

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