Judge Denies Manafort's Motion to Dismiss Charges in Russia Probe

Blow Paul Manafort was told his attempt to get the case in Washington D.C. dismissed had failed in a 37-page ruling

Blow Paul Manafort was told his attempt to get the case in Washington D.C. dismissed had failed in a 37-page ruling

A federal district court judge on Tuesday rejected former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's request to toss out five criminal charges against him in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's Russian Federation investigation.

But Berman Jackson concluded for several reasons that Mueller's investigation and prosecution of Manafort is legal - and that the special counsel still can maintain some independence while working within the Department of Justice.

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.

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.

"Manafort's civil case will be dismissed", United States District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote in the order. 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". "She goes on to say: "[Even] if one posits that the scrutiny of Manafort's alleged activities on behalf of Ukraine did not flow from the investigation of "links" to Russian Federation that was assigned to the Special Counsel, and that instead, it was a "matter that arose" from that investigation, the indictment should not be dismissed".

Beyond investigating links between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign, Mueller is also charged with pursuing "any matter that arose or may arise directly" from his collusion probe.

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

So the charges in Jackson's courtroom will proceed against Manafort, and they will be prosecuted by Robert Mueller. Manafort has asked a different federal judge there to dismiss his case on similar grounds. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has yet to rule on it. Ellis had previously grilled Mueller's team on whether the case was within his mandate and questioned whether they brought the case to get Manafort to testify against Trump.

Previously, Manafort was charged with a litany of formal accusations that are primarily related to his alleged efforts to submit false tax returns, failure to file reports about foreign bank accounts, and commit bank fraud.

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