In a hearing on Friday in Alexandria, Va., about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, the judge accused Mueller's legal team of "lying" about their investigation and of seeking solely to nab President Trump through "impeachment or whatever."
"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort," Judge T.S. Ellis III told Mueller's legal team in the courtroom, as reported by Fox News.com. "You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever."
Ellis is the senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and he was appointed to his position by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
At the hearing, Manafort's lawyers were trying to persuade the judge to dismiss the tax and fraud charges against their client. Eventually it was revealed that some of the information gathered against Manafort was derived from an earlier Justice Department investigation, which apparently had nothing to do with the scope of the Special Counsel's investigation.
That revelation apparently irked Judge Ellis, who said, "We don't want anyone with unfettered power." He also asked to see the unredacted "scope memo" for the Russia-Trump collusion case that was given to Special Counsel Mueller by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
When Mueller's lawyers claimed that might not be possible because some of the information in the memo is secret, Ellis reportedly was not pleased.
"I'll be the judge of that," said Judge Ellis.
He then "summed up the argument of the Special Counsel's Office," reported Fox News, as, "We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying."
"C'mon man!" added the judge.