T.S. Ellis, the federal decide presiding over the trial of former Donald Trump marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is a Ronald Reagan appointee who as soon as questioned the particular prosecutor’s scope and whose colourful feedback from the bench have drawn consideration.
The decide, who is predicated in Alexandria, Virginia, has dealt with high-profile instances earlier than, typically coming down on the aspect of entities just like the CIA and Blackwater. He’s a no-nonsense former Naval aviator, and his tongue lashings of prosecutors in the course of the Manafort trial have induced some controversy. In a single occasion, he advised the jury to disregard his personal comment.
Ellis raised eyebrows on Might four, 2018 when he informed particular prosecutor Robert Mueller’s group throughout a courtroom listening to: “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort. You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.” Since then, he’s been on a roll, launching many different colourful quips and feedback from the bench.
In accordance to Fox Information, Ellis additionally stated the particular prosecutor’s workforce’s argument amounted to: “We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.” He added, “C’mon man!” Ellis alleges the prosecutors try to strain Manafort to flip on Trump, saying, “the vernacular is, to sing.”
The decide has dealt with troublesome instances involving nationwide safety. “Judge Ellis has presided over several high-profile national security cases, including United States v. Lindh (the so-called ‘American Taliban’ case); United States v. Franklin, Rosen, and Weissman, in which defendants were charged with engaging in a conspiracy to communicate National Defense Information to Israeli officials and AIPAC, in violation of the Espionage Act; and El-Masri v. Tenet, in which plaintiff Khalid El-Masri sued the CIA and three private security companies, alleging extraordinary rendition and torture,” a Princeton College biography on him reads.
Who’s Decide T.S. Ellis III?
Right here’s what you want to know:
Jump To Section
- 1 1. Ellis Was Born in Bogota, Colombia & Wrote an Essay Arguing the Government Department Typically Over-Classifies Supplies
- 2 2. T.S. Ellis Was Nominated to the Federal Bench by Ronald Reagan
- 3 three. Ellis Served within the Army & Attended Princeton
- 4 four. He Sided With Blackwater in a Case & Allowed a Democratic Congressman to Keep Free Pending Attraction
- 5 5. Ellis Sentenced the ‘American Taliban’ Defendant to Jail & Advised the Jury to Ignore His Chastising of Prosecutors within the Manafort Trial
1. Ellis Was Born in Bogota, Colombia & Wrote an Essay Arguing the Government Department Typically Over-Classifies Supplies
Decide T.S. Ellis III was born in Bogota, Colombia, in accordance to Ballotpedia. He’s “a federal judge on senior status with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia,” the location stories.
In accordance to the Federal Judicial Middle, Ellis was born in 1940 and his full identify is Thomas Selby Ellis III.
He wrote a 2013 essay describing the challenges inherent in nationwide safety instances. “National Security cases present challenging problems for federal courts—case management problems and problems raised by the novel and difficult legal issues these cases typically present,” Ellis wrote. “…On the basis of my exposure to classified information over a number of years…I have a firm suspicion that the executive branch over-classifies a great deal of material that does not warrant classification.”
Ellis additionally famous, although, that “Especially important here is the need to avoid disclosure of information that might reveal to an enemy analyst our country’s sources and methods of obtaining intelligence information.” The decide now finds himself in an analogous quandary; he’s demanded an unredacted memo explaining the Mueller probe’s scope, however prosecutors are arguing parts of it are categorised.
2. T.S. Ellis Was Nominated to the Federal Bench by Ronald Reagan
Ellis was positioned on the bench by a Republican president: Ronald Reagan. He was confirmed on a voice vote.
“Nominated by Ronald Reagan on July 1, 1987, to a seat vacated by Robert R. Merhige. Confirmed by the Senate on August 5, 1987, and received commission on August 6, 1987. Assumed senior status on April 1, 2007,” his biography on the FJC web page says. (Merhige had famously presided over Richmond, Virginia faculty desegregation instances, amongst others.)
“He is known for his sense of humor, his long digressions and his demanding and somewhat confrontational attitude toward the lawyers who appear before him,” The Washington Submit reported of Ellis. That was earlier than his feedback in the course of the Manafort trial sparked headlines.
three. Ellis Served within the Army & Attended Princeton
Decide Ellis has an Ivy League background and is a army veteran. He graduated from Princeton College in 1961 (his bachelor’s diploma was in engineering) and acquired a Harvard regulation diploma in 1969. He has a diploma of regulation from the College of Oxford School of Regulation that dates to 1970, his bio reads.
He served within the U.S. Navy from 1961-1966. In accordance to Princeton College, Ellis “served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy from 1961-67, attaining the rank of Lieutenant.”
Earlier than his nomination to the bench, Ellis was a lawyer who labored in personal follow. He has taught programs on the School of William and Mary, though that work dates again to the early 1980s. He labored in personal apply in Richmond, Virginia for the agency Hunton & Williams LLP. “…he was a litigation partner in private practice with the Virginia-based international law firm of Hunton and Williams from 1969-87,” Princeton reviews.
In accordance to Bloomberg, he has been a board member of quite a few authorized associations, together with the Virginia Poverty Regulation Middle and Science Museum of Virginia.
four. He Sided With Blackwater in a Case & Allowed a Democratic Congressman to Keep Free Pending Attraction
The decide’s colourful commentary has sparked each reward and criticism and, as you’ll be able to see above, has even led to memes. Together with his lengthy historical past on the bench, although, Ellis has had an opportunity to deal with different controversial instances.
In one of many highest-profile instances Ellis dealt with as decide, he sided with the Blackwater safety agency in lawsuits filed by Iraqi victims. “A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out a series of lawsuits filed by alleged Iraqi victims of the contractor once known as Blackwater USA, but is allowing the plaintiffs to refile their claims,” The Related Press reported on the time.
Though Ellis allowed the Iraqis to refile their instances, he made it harder for them to prevail. “Ellis is allowing most of the plaintiffs to refile, but only if they will be able to prove that employees engaged in intentional killings and beatings,” a better normal than recklessness or “a culture of lawlessness,” AP reported. That call got here down in 2009.
In 2006, BBC reported, Ellis “dismissed a lawsuit brought by a German citizen who says he was kidnapped and beaten by the CIA.”
“In times of war, our country, chiefly through the executive branch, must often take exceptional steps to thwart the enemy,” the decide said in his determination.
That very same yr, in accordance to The New Orleans Occasions-Picayune, Ellis allowed former Democratic Congressman William Jefferson to “remain free pending his appeal of his guilty verdict on 11 corruption counts.” He meted out a sentence of 13 years in jail, although.
Ellis additionally dominated towards Wikimedia in “an anti-surveillance lawsuit… ruling in favor of the National Security Agency,” in accordance to Arstechnica.com. Primarily he dominated that Wikimedia and others “could not prove that they had been surveilled,” the location studies.
5. Ellis Sentenced the ‘American Taliban’ Defendant to Jail & Advised the Jury to Ignore His Chastising of Prosecutors within the Manafort Trial
Within the case of Paul Manafort, who faces financial institution and tax fraud allegations not involving Trump’s presidential marketing campaign (and an investigation prosecutors revealed predated the Mueller probe), the decide demanded to see the memorandum documenting Mueller’s scope.
“We don’t want anyone in this country with unfettered power. It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants,” Ellis stated in courtroom on the Manafort case. “The American people feel pretty strongly that no one has unfettered power.” Manafort additionally nonetheless faces costs – the majority of them – in a special Washington D.C. courtroom.
Nevertheless, Trump seized on the decide’s feedback at an NRA rally on Might four, 2018, saying, “Judge T.S. Ellis who is really something very special I hear from many standpoints. He is a respected person.”
Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor common arguing for Mueller’s group, said that the workforce’s scope “did cover the activity in the indictment” towards Manafort, USA Immediately reported, to which Ellis retorted, “Cover bank fraud in 2005 and 2007? Tell me how!”
Through the trial itself, in August 2018, Ellis has made quite a few colourful quips. Amongst them: He advised a prosecutor, “I understand how frustrated you are. In fact, there’s tears in your eyes right now.”
He chastised a prosecutor for seemingly not taking a look at him, saying, “Look at me! Don’t look down.”
Nevertheless, the decide informed the jury that he was “probably wrong” when he berated prosecutors in the course of the trial, The Washington Submit reported. The decide had criticized the prosecution workforce for “allowing an expert government witness to sit in the courtroom before he testified,” in accordance to The Publish. He informed the jury to disregard his remark.
In accordance to Fox Information, Ellis was the sentencing decide within the case towards the so-called “American Taliban,” John Walker Lindh. He sentenced Lindh, then 21, to 20 years in jail “after he pleaded guilty to charges related to his activity with the Taliban in Afghanistan,” Fox reviews.
T.S. Ellis is a federal decide presiding over the Paul Manafort trial whose colourful feedback have induced controversy.
T.S. Ellis is a federal decide presiding over the Paul Manafort trial whose colourful feedback have triggered controversy.