Judge Rejects Manafort Challenge To Mueller Indictment

A federal judge in Washington says special counsel Robert Mueller was working within his authority when he brought charges against president Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. AP

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Tuesday denied Manafort's request that she throw out the indictment brought in the criminal case against him in Washington D.C. She had previously thrown out a civil lawsuit Manafort filed against Mueller seeking to narrow his investigation.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Mueller had the right to bring the charges against Manafort, shutting down the argument by Manafort's lawyer that they had nothing to do with the Russian Federation investigation.

Third, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had broad authority to "authorize the Special Counsel to investigate not only 'links and/or coordination, ' but also, 'any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.'" So even if the charges against Manafort were not sufficiently tied to Russian Federation, they could still potentially proceed under the remainder of the powers delegated to Mueller. Jackson said that even if the Manafort case didn't arise from links to Russian Federation, and instead was a matter that arose from that investigation, the indictment should stand. On May 4, Ellis ordered Mueller's prosecutors two weeks to provide "completely unredacted versions of [Deputy Attorney General] Rosenstein's orders assigning special counsel Mueller" before he would make a decision on keeping the Manafort indictment or dismissing it.

Manafort's trial in Virginia is scheduled to begin on July 10, and his Washington, D.C., trial is slated for September.

"Manafort was, at one time, not merely 'associated with, ' but the chairman of, the presidential campaign, and his work on behalf of the Russia-backed Ukrainian political party and connections to other Russian figures are matters of public record", she wrote, adding that it was "logical" for investigators to probe Mr Manafort's dealings.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office, declined to comment. He faces a second set of charges in Virginia that include bank fraud and filing false tax returns. Manafort's motion to dismiss the case Mueller brought against him in Virginia is still pending. While the charges relate to Manafort's decade of work as a political consultant in Ukraine, Mueller properly pursued him, the judge wrote in a 37-page ruling.

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In her ruling on Tuesday, Jackson expressed no such qualms about Mueller's authority.

Later that day, Trump praised Judge Ellis as "really something very special.he's a respected person" during his address to the National Rifle Association.

I don't see what relation this indictment has with what the special counsel is authorized to investigate.

United States district judge Amy Jackson declined to throw out the case against Manafort, who faces two indictments from the special counsel.

Her ruling also pointed to an August 2017 memo by Mr Rosenstein that further detailed the scope of the probe.

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