Manafort trial judge has been threatened, has U.S. Marshals protection

Judge T.S. Ellis was asked by a consortium of media outlets to release the names of the jurors serving in the Manafort case. He declined to release those names, citing threats he had received and the fact that he is currently receiving U.S. marshals service protection. From The Hill:

The judge in the tax- and bank-fraud trial against onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said Friday he’s been threatened over the case, denying a request from media outlets to release the names and addresses of the jurors.

Judge T.S. Ellis III said he’s not going to reveal the specifics of the threats he received.

“I have the marshals’ protection,” he said.

CNBC has a bit more on the judge’s decision:

“I had no idea this case would excite these emotions, I can tell you that frankly,” Ellis said, as jurors continued their second day of deliberations in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. “I don’t feel right if I release their names.”

“I have no reason to believe that if those names are unsealed there won’t be threats against them,” Ellis said of the jurors, who do not have protection by U.S. Marshals.

Since the judge refused to give details about any of the threats, we don’t know if they were coming from the left or the right, but most of the news the judge has made in this case has been for his criticism of the prosecutors. Fox News reports:

Ellis, a famously prickly judge known for his colorful comments, has attracted considerable attention during the Manafort trial for his frequent sparring with the attorneys — particularly those on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Earlier Friday morning, Ellis acknowledged facing pushback about how he’s handled this case. He told attorneys “I’m no stranger to criticism,” but said “this case has brought it to a new level.”

So if I had to guess, I’d guess he’s getting these threats from people on the left upset that he has been critical of Mueller’s team.

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