The judge overseeing Paul Manafort's trial admitted on Thursday that he was wrong a day earlier when he criticized prosecutors in front of the jury.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis told the jurors he "may have made a mistake" when he berated prosecutors for letting IRS agent Michael Welch sit in the courtroom before he took the stand and testified, adding, "It has nothing to do with your consideration in this case." He also said the robe he wears "doesn't make me anything other than human."
The prosecutors requested on Thursday that Ellis issue a "curative instruction" to the jury, because he had cleared Welch to sit in the court, but Ellis screamed that he had barred all witnesses from observing the trial, barking, "Don't ever do that again." Ellis has been typically hard on the prosecution, mocking one government attorney and saying he saw tears in his eyes and snapping at another for saying "yep" instead of "yes."
Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, is charged with bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. Catherine Garcia