Federal judge just ruled on Paul Manafort's motion to dismiss Mueller charges

Federal judge just ruled on Paul Manafort's motion to dismiss Mueller charges

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.

She cites the instructions drafted for Mueller by Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, which instruct the special counsel to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign". He has pleaded not guilty in that case, as well as in the charges that included bank fraud and tax fraud that were brought against him in Virginia.

"His work on behalf of the Russia-backed Ukrainian political party and connections to other Russian figures are matters of public record", Jackson wrote.

"The appointment order here purports to give the Special Counsel power to investigate a specifically identified matter and anything that arises in the course of the investigation, without further consulting or obtaining approval from the Attorney General or Acting Attorney General", a filing by Manafort's lawyer read. Judge Amy Berman Jackson clearly didn't not have the same issues when Manafort and his legal team questioned the scope of Mueller's authority in the case against Manafort in D.C.

Manafort's lawyers' previous push for dismissal hinged on the argument that because the crimes in question do not directly relate to Mueller's core mandate - investigating whether members of Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow - he was not authorized to charge Manafort with them.

In response to the ruling, Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said: "Paul Manafort maintains his innocence and looks forward to prevailing in this matter".


To be clear, nothing in Jackson's decision is especially surprising - Manafort's challenge to Mueller's authority was always a long shot that was unlikely to prevail.

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.

Jackson said it was "logical and appropriate" for investigators to probe Manafort's dealings with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted by street protests in 2014 and now lives in exile in Russian Federation.

In both criminal cases, Mr Manafort has asked the courts to dismiss the charges on the grounds that Mr Rosenstein's May 17, 2017 appointment order hiring the special counsel runs afoul of justice department rules on special counsels. She cited not only the May 2017 appointment order, but also an August 2, 2017, memo by Rosenstein that further detailed the responsibility given to Mueller.

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

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