11:59, May 16 165 0 abajournal.com

2018-05-16 11:59:07
Judge refuses to toss Manafort charges; another judge has yet to rule

In a decision Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected Manafort’s contention that the charges should be dismissed because the authority given to special counsel Robert Mueller was too broad, the National Law Journal, the Washington Post and Politico report.

Manafort didn’t object to the grant of authority to investigate links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. But he did object to the grant of authority to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

Jackson said Manafort’s indictment on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent in connection with his work for Ukraine “falls squarely” within the authority to investigate Russian influence—the grant of authority that Manafort had not challenged.

Even if the charges arose from the challenged authority grant, Manafort can’t win dismissal of the indictment because the Justice Department regulations regarding the appointment of special counsel don’t create substantive rights for individuals under investigation, Jackson said. And Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was acting within his authority to broadly define the special counsel’s authority, she said.

Jackson had previously tossed a separate civil suit filed by Manafort that sought to dismiss the charges. The judge said Manafort would have to address his claims in the criminal case.

Manafort is also challenging separate charges, pending in Alexandria, Virginia, that accuse him of tax fraud and giving banks false information about his income when applying for mortgages.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III remarked in a May 4 hearing in that case that the charges against Manafort were aimed at getting Manafort “to sing.”