Judge Ellis to Jury: ‘Put Aside’ My Criticism of Manafort Prosecutors

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis has been critical of prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office since the start of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s trial in Alexandria, Virginia, last week—but told the jury on Thursday that he may have made a mistake. “I was critical of counsel for… allowing an expert to remain in the courtroom,” he told the court, according to The Washington Post. “You may put that aside… I may well have been wrong.” Judge Ellis reportedly scolded the prosecution on Wednesday for allowing an IRS expert witness to sit in the gallery throughout the duration of the trial, but lawyers from Mueller’s office pointed out that an earlier transcript showed that the judge gave them permission to do so. “I was probably wrong,” he said, and admitted that “like any human—and this robe doesn’t make me any more than a human.” He continued, “Any criticism of counsel should be put aside—it doesn’t have anything to do with this case.”