Cranky judge, flawed witness threaten Mueller’s Manafort case

  • 2018-08-08
  • DARREN SAMUELSOHN and JOSH GERSTEIN
  • Politico
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors have spent several days building what many legal experts consider a slam-dunk case against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

But it has been surprisingly hard going at times, and as they prepare to rest their case by the week's end, they bear battle wounds that Manafort’s lawyers are sure to exploit as they mount their defense.

Even as Mueller’s team methodically piled up evidence of Manafort’s alleged tax and bank fraud, jurors have seen the special counsel’s case hit some potholes.

Most notably, Manafort’s attorneys have painted the prosecution’s star witness, Rick Gates, as a serial liar, embezzler and philanderer who — as a defense lawyer asserted in court on Wednesday — engaged in four extramarital affairs.

Several other setbacks have come courtesy of the cantankerous presiding federal judge, T.S. Ellis III.
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