Judge rules Mueller has authority to prosecute former Trump campaign chairman Manafort

Judge denies ex Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s request to dismiss his federal indictment

In response to these charges, Manafort claimed that he could not be prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller because the particular charges against him are outside of Mueller's properly delegated authority.

Manafort, a former chairman for the Trump campaign, has been charged in D.C. with money laundering, failure to register foreign lobbying and false statements.

Manafort's defense lawyer, former MIller & Chevalier partner Kevin Downing, has stressed that the alleged misconduct predated the 2016 presidential campaign and therefore was outside Mueller's authority.

Referring to Mueller's appointment order, she said that the charges fell "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.' (Manafort had also challenged the provision of the appointment order that said that Mueller could investigate matters "that arose or may arise directly" from the probe)".

The charges before Judge Jackson arise out of Manafort's "lobbying and political consulting activities on behalf of Ukraine, the pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, and the former President of Ukraine who fled to Russian Federation in 2014".

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".

Former Democratic leader Harry Reid is being treated for pancreatic cancer
Catherine Cortez Masto, and as leader of Senate Democrats by New York Sen. "We are all praying for dear Harry's speedy recovery". The former Senate Democratic leader declined to seek re-election in 2016 after more than three decades in Congress.

But her ruling is even stronger than that.

Additionally, Jackson said that the Justice Department regulations created for special counsel investigations are not enforceable for defendants in court.

The decision allows one of two criminal cases against Manafort to proceed.

Manafort is facing separate fraud charges in Alexandria, Virginia, federal court. The Virginia indictment accuses him of hiding tens of millions of dollars he earned advising pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine from 2006 through 2015. Manafort has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

Manafort, Jackson said, was not merely associated with President Donald Trump's campaign but served as its chairman for a time. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has yet to rule on it. Ellis previously had grilled Mueller's team on whether the case was within his mandate and questioned whether they brought the case to get Manafort to testify against Trump. Manafort has asked a different federal judge there to dismiss his case on similar grounds.

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