Judge in Manafort trial has a sharp wit, sharp tongue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The judge in Paul Manafort’s financial-fraud trial isn’t one to put up with courtroom debate he considers pointless.

Judge T.S. Ellis has gone after prosecutors several times this week for making much of Manafort’s lavish lifestyle. Manafort is President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.

The judge says it’s no crime to be rich in America.

Privately, lawyers who have appeared before Ellis say he likes to be seen as the smartest person in the courtroom — not a huge leap for a judge.

Ellis is trying a case that centers on Manafort’s work for wealthy Ukrainians and whether he fraudulently hid millions in income. It stems from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election