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Here Are 4 Key Differences Between Paul Manafort Judges Amy Berman Jackson and T.S. Ellis

August 29, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

The president's former campaign manager will be facing a very different judge this time.

During his recent trial in Alexandria, Virginia, Paul Manafort had a very  sympathetic judge in T.S. Ellis III—who often came across as antagonistic to federal prosecutors and made it clear that they were the ones who shouldered the burden of proof, not Manafort’s defense team. But President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager will be facing a very different judge when Amy Berman Jackson, a Barack Obama appointee, oversees his second criminal trial in Washington, DC. Already convicted of eight federal charges (including bank fraud and tax evasion) in Alexandria, Manafort will be facing a different set of charges in Judge Jackson’s courtroom—including obstruction of justice and money laundering—and while Ellis often clashed with prosecutors during Manafort’s first trial, Jackson has been clashing with his defense team. Manafort’s second trial has been moved back to Monday, September 24, with jury selection to begin a week earlier on September 17.

Here are four indications that in terms of judges, things will be very different for Manafort during his second trial than they were in Alexandria.

1. Ellis Warned Prosecutors to Mind Their Behavior Around Jurors; Jackson Warned the Defense

In Alexandria, Ellis warned prosecutors to be mindful of their facial expressions, noting that he didn’t appreciate eye-rolling in the presence of jurors. But Jackson, in contrast, has warned attorney Kevin Downing (who is part of Manafort’s defense team) that when the trial begins, he is not to act out around jurors. Jackson, during a hearing, cautioned, “Mr. Downing, I just want to let you know that you are an expressive human being, and how you feel about what is being said in the courtroom is a big part of your demeanor and your physical demeanor. That doesn’t upset me particularly, but it will upset me enormously if there’s a jury in the box. So just keep that in mind.”

2. Jackson Revoked Manafort’s Home Detention

In May, Ellis (who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987) openly expressed his skepticism …read more


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