April 25, 2018

Judge rips Manafort's lawsuit to rein in Mueller

05 April 2018, 01:22 | Simon Arnold

Mueller authorized by DOJ to investigate alleged Manafort collusion with Russian government


DOJ attorney Daniel Schwei said that if Manafort could use the APA to challenge the appointment order, it would open the door to APA lawsuits challenging agencies any time they hire new employees for specific tasks - even before those employees take any actions.

A federal judge on Wednesday appeared skeptical of a civil lawsuit filed by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort alleging that the Justice Department and Special Counsel Robert Mueller exceeded their authority in prosecuting him as part of the sprawling Russian Federation probe.

He did not elaborate on what charges he believed could be pressed against his client.

Manafort isn't accused of any criminal activity related to his work on Trump's campaign. A D.C. federal court indicted him a year ago, but more charges were filed again, and there was a second and third indictment in February. In addition to authorizing the Russian Federation collusion investigation of Manafort, Rosenstein also specifically authorized Mueller to investigate any crimes related to payments Manafort received from the Ukrainian government during the tenure of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Rod Rosenstein amended the original authority given to Robert Mueller for the Russia investigation to explicitly include any potential collusion between Paul Manafort and the Russians. An amended complaint is expected.

Mueller is investigating potential collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation as well as whether the president has unlawfully tried to obstruct the probe. In a report unclassified in January 2017, US intelligence agencies said the Kremlin wanted to help Trump.

None of the charges Manafort faces alleges coordination with the Kremlin, and Manafort's attorneys had used that point to argue that Mueller had exceeded his authority by bringing charges against him accusing him of various financial crimes and acting as an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of Ukrainian interests.

Mueller's investigatory mission "would naturally cover ties that a former Trump campaign manager had to Russian-associated political operatives, Russian-backed politicians, and Russian oligarchs".

Prosecutors argued that their investigation would only "naturally follow the money trail from Manafort's Ukrainian consulting activities", work that resulted in the criminal charges.

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson grilled Manafort attorney Kevin Downing for 50 minutes in open court over whether Manafort had the ability to bring the civil lawsuit against the Justice Department.

"Nobody challenges prosecutions under the APA", Jackson said while questioning Downing.

The memo, which had not previously been released publicly and remains redacted in parts, said Mueller was empowered to investigate allegations that Manafort "committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials" to interfere with the presidential election.

Downing said Manafort's defense had "major issues" with the added authorization, saying that it came after a search warrant had already been executed on Manafort's home. Several other individuals charged in Mueller's investigation have pleaded guilty and made agreements to cooperate.

Manafort's latest challenge follows disclosure by the government Tuesday of an August 2, 2017, memo in which Rosenstein confirmed that the allegations against Manafort fall within the scope of Mueller's investigation and the May appointment order. Downing turned around to look at Manafort, then said forcefully, "Never". "Because investigation of those matters was authorized, so was prosecution".

Other News

Trending Now

Desperate to Regain Trust, Facebook Refreshes Privacy Tools
This includes posts you've shared or reacted to, friend requests you've sent, and things you've searched for on Facebook . The head of the committee called Mr Zuckerberg's decision "astonishing" and urged the social media mogul to think again.

'Clearly stupid': Florida school shooting survivors forced to carry clear backpacks
Broward County Public Schools announced on March 21 that students would be required to use clear backpacks as a safety measure. She said those personal accounts are important, but she recognizes not all of them will be covered by the media.

Ravens sign RG3 to one-year contract
- The Baltimore Ravens have announced they have agreed to a one-year deal with former Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III . GM Ozzie Newsome said that Griffin visited the team to workout last week, and the two sides came to an agreement last night.

Rams found price for Odell Beckham Jr. 'exorbitant'
The more likely possibility that has been floated is the Patriots using some combination of those four picks, which are Nos. But it wasn't until a chance meeting between Belichick and Rams head coach Sean McVay that a deal started to materialize.

No joke: Wintery weather in NY; Rays-Yankees game postponed
Renteria likes what he has seen so far. "Regardless of a 2-0 start, these guys are prepared and have a really good mindset". With the Toronto Blue Jays struggling to score runs, Kevin Pillar found another way to create some offense.

Ant McPartlin scenes to air on Saturday Night Takeaway
Saturday Night Takeaway's latest episode was cancelled last Saturday, with Ant leaving the show for the rest of the series. Ant's rating has slid dramatically to minus 24, compared to his 37 slot in November, according to The Sun .

Apple iOS 11.3 rolls out: Battery Health tool, new Animoji, and more
But the service is now only available in beta, and user who want it will have to install that version of the software . It also includes a new setting called Battery Health, which lets iPhone owners decide how their phone performs.

Kenyan opposition lawyer denied entry at airport
High court Judge Roselyn Aburili has also ordered that Miguna miguna be presented in the court on Wednesday, March 28th. The lawyers had sought to serve the orders issued in relation to the detention of Opposition politician Miguna Miguna.

John Krasinski's Kids Made Him Want To Direct New Film
So whose suit would you like to see Krasinski fill? "I very much understand both sides". Actress Emily Blunt said having kids completely changed her as a person.

Isner routs del Potro to reach Miami Open final
A precise backhand down the line put him 40-15 ahead and the second break point was converted with a delicate touch at the net. Unlike Isner, Zverev was challenged in the opening set and needed a tightly contested tiebreak to seize early momentum.