T.S. Ellis, the federal judge presiding over the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is a Ronald Reagan appointee who once questioned the special prosecutor’s scope and whose colorful comments from the bench have drawn attention.
The judge, who is based in Alexandria, Virginia, has handled high-profile cases before, sometimes coming down on the side of entities like the CIA and Blackwater. He’s a no-nonsense former Naval aviator, and his tongue lashings of prosecutors during the Manafort trial have caused some controversy. In one instance, he told the jury to disregard his own remark.
Ellis raised eyebrows on May 4, 2018 when he told special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team during a court hearing: “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.” Since then, he’s been on a roll, launching many other colorful quips and comments from the bench.
According to Fox News, Ellis also said the special prosecutor’s team’s argument amounted to: “We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.” He added, “C’mon man!” Ellis alleges the prosecutors are trying to pressure Manafort to flip on Trump, saying, “the vernacular is, to sing.”
The judge has handled difficult cases involving national security. “Judge Ellis has presided over several high-profile national security cases, including United States v. Lindh (the so-called ‘American Taliban’ case); United States v. Franklin, Rosen, and Weissman, in which defendants were charged with engaging in a conspiracy to communicate National Defense Information to Israeli officials and AIPAC, in violation of the Espionage Act; and El-Masri v. Tenet, in which plaintiff Khalid El-Masri sued the CIA and three private security companies, alleging extraordinary rendition and torture,” a Princeton University biography on him reads.
Who is Judge T.S. Ellis III?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ellis Was Born in Bogota, Colombia & Wrote an Essay Arguing the Executive Branch Sometimes Over-Classifies Materials
Here’s what you should know about Judge T.S. Ellis — and how the Reagan appointee could impact the fate of Paul Manafort https://t.co/YDlPZ1S1Si
— ROBERT JONES (@BLKROCKET) August 8, 2018
Judge T.S. Ellis III was born in Bogota, Colombia, according to Ballotpedia. He is “a federal judge on senior status with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia,” the site reports.
According to the Federal Judicial Center, Ellis was born in 1940 and his full name is Thomas Selby Ellis III.
He wrote a 2013 essay describing the challenges inherent in national security cases. “National Security cases present challenging problems for federal courts—case management problems and problems raised by the novel and difficult legal issues these cases typically present,” Ellis wrote. “…On the basis of my exposure to classified information over a number of years…I have a …read more