Judge Denies Manafort's Motion to Dismiss Charges in Russia Probe

Judge Denies Manafort's Motion to Dismiss Charges in Russia Probe

Judge Denies Manafort's Motion to Dismiss Charges in Russia Probe

Jackson was not moved by Manafort's argument that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that his Ukraine dealings predated the 2016 election by at least two years.

Trump's former campaign chairman has mounted multiple legal challenges to the criminal cases against him in Washington, D.C., and Virginia by arguing that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller had exceeded their authority to investigate and charge him.

In a court filing on Monday, lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting LLC said Mueller had wrongfully accused the company of a "make-believe crime", in a political effort by the special counsel to "justify his own existence" by indicting "a Russian-any Russian". "Given what was being said publicly, the Special Counsel would have been remiss to ignore such an obvious potential link between the Trump campaign and the Russian government", Jackson wrote.

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A Russian company accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of funding a propaganda operation to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election is asking a federal judge for access to secret information reviewed by a grand jury before it indicted the firm.

Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, later responded to the ruling: "Paul Manafort maintains his innocence and looks forward to prevailing in this matter".

Manafort and his lawyer's had argued Rosenstein acted improperly by appointing Mueller to investigate collusion with Russian Federation and "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". "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.

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Jackson, in her Tuesday memorandum opinion, appeared to push back on Ellis' skepticism of the special counsel's broad mandate, arguing that Rosenstein granted Mueller the power to investigate "any matters that arose" from his immediate probe of Russian meddling.

Jackson had previously thrown out a civil case Manafort brought challenging Mueller's authority. In addition to the Washington indictment, Manafort also faces charges in Virginia of bank fraud and tax evasion.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to charges related to his lobbying work before 2014 on behalf of Ukraine's pro-Russian president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych.

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That judge, T.S. Ellis, said he believed prosecutors were using the charges against Manafort to try to get him to turn against Trump.

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