Judge rejects Manafort's effort to dismiss case

Hannah Rogers
May 16, 2018

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Tuesday denied Manafort's request that she throw out the indictment brought in the criminal case against him in Washington D.C. She had previously thrown out a civil lawsuit Manafort filed against Mueller seeking to narrow his investigation.

"It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges", Jackson said. "So even in the unlikely event that the Acting Attorney General and the Special Counsel never discussed what the investigation included at the time of the appointment, the singular event that defendant insists would be necessary to make his indictment valid - an explicit referral of the specific matter to the Special Counsel - has taken place". Berman Jackson wrote. "Given the combination of his prominence within the campaign and his ties to Ukrainian officials supported by and operating out of Russia, as well as to Russian oligarchs, Manafort was an obvious person of interest".

Jackson said the Manafort prosecution falls squarely within the mandate of Mueller, whose May 2017 appointment order directs him to investigate links or coordination between Russian Federation and people associated with Trump's campaign.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office, declined to comment.

The charges before Judge Jackson arise out of Manafort's "lobbying and political consulting activities on behalf of Ukraine, the pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, and the former President of Ukraine who fled to Russian Federation in 2014". Manafort is also facing charges of bank fraud in Virginia.

As Judge Jackson explains, Manafort's challenge to Mueller's authority fails for four reasons.

Turkey expels Israel's consul general to Istanbul in spat over Gaza violence
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier said Turkey is calling on Muslim countries to reconsider relations with Israel. It rejects the criticism, saying its open-fire rules are necessary to defend its border.

Jackson added it was "logical and appropriate" for investigators tasked with pursuing any links to the Russian Federation investigation to direct their attention toward Manafort, due to his role in Trump's campaign.

Her ruling also pointed to an August 2017 memo by Mr Rosenstein that further detailed the scope of the probe.

Manafort, a former chairman for the Trump campaign, has been charged in D.C. with money laundering, failure to register foreign lobbying and false statements.

That judge, TS Ellis III for the eastern district of Virginia, has yet to rule on whether to dismiss the charges against Mr Manafort.

The ruling marks a setback for Mr Manafort, who last month was buoyed when the judge in the Alexandria case aggressively questioned prosecutors about whether their case was overly broad and mused that he believed they were using the charges to get him to turn over dirt on Mr Trump.

He told prosecutors to turn over a copy to him by Friday.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER