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Paul Manafort just got very bad news from a federal court

16 May 2018

A federal judge ruled against the legal motion from Paul Manafort to dismiss charges filed as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election tampering.

Second, even if Mueller had exceeded his authority, the regulations governing appointments of special counsel provide that they "are not meant to, do not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity, by any person or entity, in any matter, civil, criminal, or administrative".

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the authority to prosecute Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Trump's presidential campaign. 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.

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She said: the Manafort indictment falls "squarely within" Mueller's authority; the investigation was "logical and appropriate; special counsel regulations do not "create any substantive rights for the benefit of individuals under investigation"; Mueller would have been "remiss" to ignore this "obvious potential link" between Manafort's alleged Ukraine dealings and Russia's election interference".

Jackson had previously thrown out a civil case Manafort brought challenging Mueller's authority. Manafort has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

First, the indictment "falls squarely" within Mueller's authority to investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation. "He was appointed to take over an existing investigation, and it appears from the chronology and the written record that the matters contained in the superseding indictment were already a part of the ongoing inquiry that was lawfully transferred to the special counsel by the Department of Justice in May of 2017".

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Manafort, Jackson said, was not merely associated with President Donald Trump's campaign but served as its chairman for a time.

The decision allows one of two criminal cases against Manafort to proceed. Additionally, Rosenstein "confirmed in writing that he assigned the Special Counsel the specific responsibility to investigate the very allegations that comprise the" challenged indictment.

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".

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The ruling marks a setback for Mr Manafort, who last month was buoyed when the judge in the Alexandria case aggressively questioned prosecutors about whether their case was overly broad and mused that he believed they were using the charges to get him to turn over dirt on Mr Trump.

Paul Manafort just got very bad news from a federal court