Judge: Special counsel had authority to prosecute Paul Manafort

Breaking Federal judge just ruled on Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss Mueller charges

Judge Jackson previously dismissed a civil case Manafort filed against Mueller, in which Manafort's attorneys argued that the scope of Mueller's investigation was too broad. Jackson said that even if the Manafort case didn't arise from links to Russian Federation, and instead was a matter that arose from that investigation, the indictment should stand.

A federal judge in Washington DC is proceeding with the criminal case brought forward by special counsel Robert Mueller, regarding Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman. Previously Law&Crime speculated that maybe Trump might be waiting to see how the Manafort cases in EDVA and D.C. would shake out before making a decision about speaking to Mueller.

Jackson said the charges fell within even a separate portion of Mueller's authority that Manafort has found "unobjectionable: the order to investigate 'any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign'".

The decision was a setback for Paul Manafort in his defence against charges of money-laundering conspiracy, false statements and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

"The case did not arise in a vacuum, and the special counsel did not create his own job description", Jackson wrote.

"The motion to dismiss will be denied for a number of reasons", ruled U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a 36-page opinion.

First, the indictment "falls squarely" within Mueller's authority to investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

"Manafort was, at one time, not merely 'associated with, ' but the chairman of, the presidential campaign, and his work on behalf of the Russia-backed Ukrainian political party and connections to other Russian figures are matters of public record", she wrote, adding that it was "logical" for investigators to probe Mr Manafort's dealings. "But the indictment will not be dismissed, and the matter will proceed to trial". Nevertheless, Manafort's claims seemed to take on a new life earlier this month when Judge T.S. Ellis, the judge hearing the remaining charges against Mueller, asked some skeptical questions about Mueller's authority during a recent hearing.

Although Trump's new attorney Rudy Giuliani suggested the delay had more to do with the leak of Mueller's potential questions for Trump, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Michael Cohen's office and Trump's upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, there was still a reason to pay close attention to Manafort.

He said Mueller didn't care about Manafort's alleged bank and tax fraud and wanted to use Manafort as a vehicle to get to Trump.

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