Federal Bureau of Investigation special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday filed a request for 70 blank subpoenas in the Virginia court presiding over one of two criminal proceedings involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The hearing ended without a ruling, and Ellis didn't say when he would decide the matter in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to both indictments. "You really care about what information he might give you about Mr. Trump and what might lead to his impeachment or prosecution".
However, the charges against Manafort to date appear unrelated to the 2016 election, calling into question the special counsel's interpretation of the scope of its investigation.
On the stage at the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas, Trump read headlines from news stories on Friday's hearing on Manafort's motion to dismiss the federal grand jury indictment against him in Virginia. Manafort's team has denied he conspired or colluded with any Russian intelligence or government officials.
Manafort is facing charges in both Virginia and Washington.
The Reagan-appointed judge asked Mueller's team where they got the authority to indict Manafort on alleged crimes dating as far back as 2005.
That challenge led Mueller's team to include a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe following Attorney General Jeff Sessions's recusal past year.
Earlier this week, Manafort revealed in a court filing that the special prosecutor's office has said they have no evidence of any recording or intercepted phone call between him and Russian officials.
Most of the three-page memo is blacked out, and Dreeben said it wasn't necessary to share the rest of it because it didn't relate to Manafort.
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During Friday's hearing, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis accused Mueller's team of lying about the scope of the Russian Federation investigation.
He added that he does not expect Ellis to use Mueller's motivation in bringing charges as the basis of any decision he makes, but that if he does, "he will be reversed".
"So I would love to speak", he told reporters.
Ellis also said that Mueller's team does not have "unfettered power".
That argument provoked Ellis' ire to an extent and prompted him to question the wisdom of granting unfettered power to a special counsel with a $10 million budget. He noted that the law authorizing the special counsel was passed to replace the old independent counsel law, which was derided for allowing overbroad, yearslong investigations during the Reagan and Clinton administrations.
"Your argument is that this is the scope of the investigation but we really didn't mean it and we weren't required to disclose it", Ellis said.
The judge's questions suggested he was impatient with Breeden and the three prosecutors sitting at the table.
"None of that information has to do with information related to the Russian government coordination and the campaign of Donald Trump".