Paul Manafort sues Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein and Justice Department

Paul Manafort sues Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein and Justice Department

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is suing the Department of Justice and special counsel Robert Mueller over the investigation into his alleged business ties with Russian Federation.

Mueller and the deputy attorney general who appointed him, Rod Rosenstein, failed to follow the special counsel rules before a grand jury charged Manafort with money laundering and conspiracy, according to the suit. He asked a judge to dismiss the indictment against him and issue an order prohibiting Mueller from investigating anything beyond Russian meddling in the election.

Mr Manafort's lawsuit accuses Mr Rosenstein of exceeding his legal authority to "grant Mr Mueller carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across".

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office, did not comment on the lawsuit. A spokesperson for the Justice Department said in a statement that "the lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants".

Not only does Manafort have a problem with his own indictment, he's against the entire Russian Federation investigation.

The lawsuit by Paul Manafort, filed in a USA district court in Washington on January 3, is the most direct challenge to date to Mueller's legal authority as special counsel.

Trump, in social media postings after Christmas and New Year's Day, has attacked the special counsel investigation, Justice Department and the FBI, including the FBI's former director, James Comey; former General Counsel James Baker; and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

The information includes emails and calendar information related to Trump's presidential campaign, as well as details on the activities of Trump Organization executives.

More news: NY bomb attack suspect indicted on 6 counts

Reacting on "America's Newsroom", the George Washington University law professor said Manafort has a "good point but a bad case".

Manafort was indicted by Mueller's team in October on money laundering and tax charges, along with his business associate Rick Gates.

While Mueller's investigation is tasked with investigating possible collusion, it is also trying to determine whether Trump or his aides attempted to obstruct the investigation. Both men have pleaded not guilty. That jurisdiction gave Mueller the ability to investigate Russia's influence as well as anything arising from that probe, Wisenberg said. The Manafort lawyers say that goes beyond what the law allows Rosenstein to empower Mueller to do.

Of all the legal stars working for Robert Mueller, the special counsel prosecuting crimes related to Russian interference in the presidential election, perhaps none shines brighter than Michael Dreeben. He has called on Mueller to treat him fairly, but the special counsel could choose to seek an indictment against the President if he finds incriminating evidence, according to CNN.

Manafort "voluntarily met with DOJ prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to discuss his offshore political consulting activities" in July 2014, the complaint says. The investigation focused on the activities of a former Ukraine President and was closed soon after Mr. Manafort's interview.

In fact, I take this lawsuit as a mildly encouraging sign that the Mueller investigation is going to get all the way to the top.

Politico's story adds that the civil lawsuit is likely to be turned over to the same Obama-appointed judge now handling the criminal case.

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