Mueller opposes Manafort's request for hearing on leaks
16 May 2018, 07:07 | Glen Norman
US Judge Refuses to Dismiss Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort's Criminal Case
In response to these charges, Manafort claimed that he could not be prosecuted by Special CounselRobert Mueller because the particular charges against him are outside of Mueller's properly delegated authority.
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.
This reading constitutes a grant of wide authority to Mueller's team, suggesting that any other attempts to challenge his jurisdiction will face significant hurdles.
Jackson said the Manafort prosecution falls squarely within the mandate of Mueller, whose May 2017 appointment order directs him to investigate links or coordination between Russian Federation and people associated with Trump's campaign.
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Berman Jackson previously dismissed a civil lawsuit Manafort had attempted to use to undercut Mueller's authority.
The charges against him in the Washington case include conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States and failing to register as a foreign agent.
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 added it was "logical and appropriate" for investigators tasked with pursuing any links to the Russian Federation investigation to direct their attention toward Manafort, due to his role in Trump's campaign.
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"When it promulgated the regulations, the department anticipated that a special counsel, like any other prosecutor, could become aware of, and could have legitimate reasons to explore, paths that branch out naturally from the original investigation, as well as entirely new and disconnected allegations", Jackson wrote.
Jackson said the case against Manafort should proceed even if scrutiny of his past activity came about not from the investigation of "links" to Russian but rather as a "matter that arose" from that probe.
Those regulations, Jackson said, "place no boundaries on who can be investigated or what charges can be brought-what they address is who decides who the prosecutor will be".
That judge, TS Ellis III for the eastern district of Virginia, has yet to rule on whether to dismiss the charges against Mr Manafort. He has pleaded not guilty in that case, as well as in the charges that included bank fraud and tax fraud that were brought against him in Virginia.
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