Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager who was indicted in the Russia probe by special counsel Robert Mueller, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice and Mueller.
On Wednesday lawyers representing Manafort, in an attempt to challenge his indictment, decided that the right way to go about things was to sue not only the Justice Department, but special counsel Robert Mueller as well. Manafort’s lawyers allege that Mueller’s investigation is too broad and goes against Justice Department regulations. They also argue that Mueller should be ordered to stop investigating Paul Manafort’s conduct and background unrelated to his time as chair of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The filing states:
‘By ignoring the boundaries of the jurisdiction granted to the Special Counsel by the Appointment Order, Mr. Mueller acted beyond the scope of his authority. Mr. Mueller’s actions must be set aside.’
Manafort is facing tax fraud and money laundering charges and is also suing Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, because he issued the order to appoint Mueller as special counsel in May.
In the event that the appointment of Robert Mueller is found to be legal, lawyers representing Manafort say that Mueller has exceeded the scope Rosenstein laid out by investigating “stale allegations” from several years before Manafort participated in the Trump campaign.
The rule that Manafort’s lawyers believe Robert Mueller broke when he indicted Paul Manafort states that if the special counsel appointed wants to investigate an unrelated matter, something that is discovered after the initial investigation began, he must consult with the attorney general.
When James Comey, former FBI director, was fired by the president, Rosenstein gave Muller authorization to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”
According to Manaforts lawyers, the authorization “purports to grant Mr. Mueller carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across while investigating, no matter how remote.”
The interesting thing is that Manafort’s lawyers a really proposing that illegal activity found in the course of the investigation should not be pursued simply because it isn’t related to one specific instance. The law in this country, unfortunately for Manafort, is not meant to protect criminals.
Ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, charged in Mueller probe, is suing U.S. Justice Department alleging his indictment exceeds the special counsel’s office jurisidiction. @mattzap pic.twitter.com/aNjxNx2ioh
— Spencer Hsu (@hsu_spencer) January 3, 2018
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said:
‘The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants.’
Below are some of the top responses to this revelation from Twitter users:
An announcement was made on October 30, 2017 that Manafort had been indicted, along with former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos. Both Papadopoulos and Flynn plead guilty to lying to investigators.
Below is a video from Bloomberg Politics:
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