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Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to dismiss Mueller indictment

17 May 2018, 12:41 | Myrtle Vega

US Judge Refuses to Dismiss Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort's Criminal Case

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Judge refuses to toss Manafort charges; another...

Manafort was charged in connection with his lobbying work for a pro-Russian former Ukrainian president years before serving briefly as the head of Trump's campaign in mid-2016.

In a pointed rejection of Manafort's claims late on May 15, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia sided with Mueller, ruling that his case against Manafort is not overly broad or improper despite not being directly connected to the election, Radio Liberty reported.

Having failed to bring a swift conclusion to the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign as he initially predicted, Giuliani said Tuesday that the legal team will step up their efforts leading up to the one-year anniversary of the investigation on Thursday. But he did object to the grant of authority to investigate "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

Jackson wrote in the 37-page ruling that the indictment "falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel that Manafort finds unobjectionable: the order to investigate 'any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign".

Rosenstein also had authority "to define the Special Counsel's charter broadly", and explicitly confirmed Mueller's authority to investigate Manafort's Ukrainian work in an August 2017 memo, she found. He faces a second set of charges in Virginia that include bank fraud and filing false tax returns.

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"Who had connections to the Russian government?"

"This is exactly what the Department of Justice regulations contemplate".

Tuesday's opinion by Jackson was issued days after both sides argued a similar set of issues to dismiss charges before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.

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.

Ellis, a 1987 Reagan appointee, said the special counsel still may well have the authority to bring the charges, adding at one point, "I'm not saying it's illegitimate".



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