Judge Denies Manafort's Motion To Dismiss Some Of Mueller's Charges

Giuliani is said to have left the firm due to the all-consuming nature of his duties on Trump's legal team, which is fronting Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion with Russian Federation. The charges against him in the Washington case include conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the U.S. and failing to register as a foreign agent. Manafort had argued that Mueller had exceeded his authority because the case was unrelated to Russian election interference.

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

Jackson wrote in the 37-page ruling that the indictment "falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel that Manafort finds unobjectionable: the order to investigate 'any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign".

The indictment said Concord was controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who USA officials have said has extensive ties to Russia's military and political establishment.

Jackson was not moved by any of Manafort's assertions.

And regardless, she wrote, it was clear that Mueller had been specifically authorised to investigate not only Manafort's possible links to Russian Federation but also his Ukrainian business. "More important, the Acting Attorney General has confirmed in writing that he assigned the Special Counsel the specific responsibility to investigate the very allegations that comprise the Superseding Indictment", the ruling continued. The memo shows Rosenstein specifically authorised Mueller to investigate payments Manafort received from the Ukrainian government "before and during the tenure" of then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who was one of Manafort's clients.

To be clear, nothing in Jackson's decision is especially surprising - Manafort's challenge to Mueller's authority was always a long shot that was unlikely to prevail. He faces a second set of charges in Virginia that include bank fraud and filing false tax returns. It also accuses him of fraudulently obtaining millions in loans from financial institutions including while he worked for the Trump campaign.

He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, none of which are directly related to work he performed for Trump's campaign.

That judge, T.S. Ellis III for the Eastern District of Virginia, has yet to rule on whether to dismiss the charges against Manafort.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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