In a long-awaited ruling, federal Judge TS Ellis on Tuesday denied Paul Manafort’s request to dismiss the financial criminal charges he faces in Virginia.
Manafort had argued special counsel Robert Mueller had no authority to bring the case, because it was not related to his work for the 2016 Trump campaign, and Ellis expressed his own frustrations with the special counsel’s probe in a hearing on the request.
Still, Ellis certified that Manafort’s case will continue to move toward a late July trial.
“This case is a reminder that ultimately, our system of checks and balances and limitations on each branch’s powers, although exquisitely designed, ultimately works only if people of virtue, sensitivity, and courage, not affected by the winds of public opinion, choose to work within the confines of the law,” Ellis wrote Tuesday.
“Let us hope that the people in charge of this prosecution, including the Special Counsel and the Assistant Attorney General, are such people,” Ellis added. “Although this case will continue, those involved should be sensitive to the danger unleashed when political disagreements are transformed into partisan prosecutions.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.