Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Mueller wins as judge upholds his authority in Manafort case

Mueller wins as judge upholds his authority in Manafort case

Rosenstein "expressly approved the Special Counsel's investigation of the facts alleged in the indictment, so there has been no violation of the regulations, and the Special Counsel did not act without authority", she wrote.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson roundly rejected Manafort's motion to dismiss the special counsel's indictment, citing several examples of legal rectitude for Mueller's aggressive investigation of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential campaign.

After Jackson's ruling against Manafort, his spokesman Jason Maloni said Manafort "maintains his innocence and looks forward to prevailing in this matter".

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, faces an array of criminal charges in two different federal courts, including money laundering charges and allegations that he worked as an unregistered agent for the Ukrainian government.

The special counsel's office declined to comment on Jackson's memorandum opinion.

Photo/Andrew HarnikPaul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, departs Federal District Court, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Washington. Ellis expressed his skepticism at a previous hearing that Mueller's current investigation into Russian coordination during the 2016 campaign would connect to Manafort's lobbying activities years before the Trump campaign existed.

Mr Trump has denied that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation and called the probe that has dogged his presidency a "witch hunt". Manafort was the campaign's chairman, and "his work on behalf of the Russia-backed Ukrainian political party and connections to other Russian figures are matters of public record".

So the charges in Jackson's courtroom will proceed against Manafort, and they will be prosecuted by Robert Mueller.

Manafort's attorneys had argued the special counsel was taking too broad a view of its powers.

Republicans in the House of Representatives who are critical of the probe have pressed the justice department in recent months to provide them with an unredacted copy of the August memo.

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.

"It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges, and it will be the prosecution's burden to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt". 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.

He told prosecutors to turn over a copy to him by Friday.

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