Paul Manafort sues Mueller over Russian Federation probe

Paul Manafort sues Mueller over Russian Federation probe

Manafort's lawsuit accuses Rosenstein of giving Mueller the power to investigate any matters that arise during the course of his investigation of Trump-Russia coordination, in violation of Justice Department's regulations. Manafort's lawsuit is a signal that he's not.

The criminal case is still in its early stages - Manafort and Gates have been fighting in court most recently over the conditions of their release while the case is pending.

Mueller charged Manafort, along with his long-time business associate Rick Gates, on October 30 on 12 counts, including conspiracy, money laundering, being an unregistered foreign agent and failure to pay taxes on millions earned as a lobbyist for the former Ukrainian government. Its reason for that claim centers on the order saying that Mueller may investigate "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". And on Wednesday, Trump almost blew the weird coiffure off the top of his surgically-repaired hairline when former trusted confidante Steve Bannon made several explosive claims in a new book about the campaign and operations within the White House.

Rep. Maxine Waters ruffled some feathers with her poem to special counsel Robert Mueller.

The civil lawsuit, lodged with the United States district court for the District of Columbia, accuses Mueller, as well as the DoJ and the acting attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who instigated the Russian Federation investigation, of going beyond the restricted terms of the special counsel's role. Rosenstein couldn't preemptively give Mueller that authority in the original appointment order, they argue. Rosenstein hasn't responded, they said.

"It's a circular argument", he said.

Manafort and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates are now faced charges of money laundering, tax evasion and failure to disclose foreign lobbying as a part of Mueller's probe. They have pleaded not guilty.

Manfort was indicted by the Special Counsel in October on a number of criminal counts of money laundering, lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, failing to register as a foreign agent, tax fraud and more.

"Investigators may be probing Trump's Russian business ties to determine whether that foundation may have set the table for political cooperation", said CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin, who served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. During the interview, Mr. Manafort provided a detailed explanation of his activities in Ukraine, including his frequent contact with a number of previous U.S. Ambassadors in Kiev and his efforts to further U.S. objectives in Ukraine on their behalf. Throughout the process, DOJ maintained that they were assisting the Ukrainian government in locating stolen assets.

Manafort also claims he told prosecutors about his offshore banking activity in Cyprus. The political consultant is alleged to have laundered the money through a complex web of offshore companies.

The lawsuit also includes new information on the scope of Mueller's probe: In August, the Mueller prosecutors issued more than 100 subpoenas related to Manafort, the lawsuit alleges.

That would make Trump and the conservatives who oppose the Mueller investigation really happy, but experts say it's unlikely to happen because Rosenstein purposefully didn't limit Mueller's duties in his appointment.

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