Manafort loses effort to challenge Mueller's authority

Manafort loses effort to challenge Mueller's authority

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has lost his lawsuit claiming that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller exceeded their authority in charging him with alleged crimes that he says have nothing to do with the 2016 campaign.

Washington, D.C., U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, though, decided Friday that a civil suit is not the appropriate avenue to dispute Mueller's charges.

Mr. Manafort is facing dozens of charges of money laundering, bank fraud, tax evasion and failing to register as a foreign agent in connection to work he did for years on behalf of Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine who was an ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russian Federation.

Nearly three months after appointing Mueller, Rosenstein sent a memo to Mueller authorizing him to investigate specific allegations related to Manafort, including but not limited to his Ukraine lobbying work and possible collusion with Russian Federation.

The decision was a blow to Paul Manafort's defense against numerous charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller and a rejection of his use of a civil case to attack his criminal prosecution.

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A federal judge has thrown out a civil lawsuit by President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Jackson said she will issue a separate order in the criminal case in which she presides at a later date.

Jackson hinted last week that the searches could be challenged on those grounds. They also asked Jackson to issue an order protecting Manafort from future prosecutions by Mueller. The judge cited the "sound and well-established principle" that potential defendants can not "circumvent federal criminal procedure" that already permits individuals to challenge charges within criminal proceedings.

Jackson, who is also presiding over one of the two criminal cases against Manafort, is still weighing whether to dismiss one or more of the criminal charges based on similar legal arguments by Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing about the scope of Mueller's powers. The Justice Department had moved for dismissal of the lawsuit. "Therefore, the Court finds that this civil complaint must be dismissed".

Mueller was assigned by the Justice Department last May to investigate potential Russian involvement in the 2016 USA presidential campaign.

Rather than allowing defendants to skirt the process, courts typically require defendants to challenge the legality of charges or indictments through pretrial motions in criminal cases or post-trial appeals, the judge ruled.

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