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Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to dismiss Mueller indictment

Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to dismiss Mueller indictment

U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson on Tuesday denied President Donald Trump's one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort in his request to dismiss the charges brought against him by the special counsel.

He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, none of which are directly related to work he performed for Mr Trump's campaign.

"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. Jackson refused to dismiss that criminal case.

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 previously had thrown out a civil case Manafort brought challenging Mueller's authority. And it appears that the challenged indictment "were already a part of the ongoing inquiry that was lawfully transferred to the Special Counsel by the Department of Justice in May of 2017". And his past ties to Ukrainian and Russian figures was a matter of public record, she noted.

"Given what was being said publicly, the special counsel would have been remiss to ignore such an obvious potential link between the Trump campaign and the Russian government", Jackson said in the 37-page opinion.




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

Jackson said Justice Department regulations allow for a "broad grant of authority".

"It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges", Jackson said.

This is notable because the Trump Administration, including Donald Trump, used Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) Judge T.S. Ellis' pointed line of questioning about Mueller's authority a week and half ago in a separate fraud case to suggest that even a federal judge recognizes that a witch hunt is afoot.

Although Trump's new attorney Rudy Giuliani suggested the delay had more to do with the leak of Mueller's potential questions for Trump, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Michael Cohen's office and Trump's upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, there was still a reason to pay close attention to Manafort.

In addition to the Washington indictment, Manafort also faces charges in Virginia of bank fraud and tax evasion.