SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Manafort sues DOJ, Mueller over Russia probe authority

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman indicted on money laundering and other charges, filed a lawsuit cha...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 8:42 AM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 8:42 AM

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman indicted on money laundering and other charges, filed a lawsuit challenging the broad authority of special counsel Robert Mueller and alleging the Justice Department violated the law in appointing Mueller.

The suit brought Wednesday in US District Court in Washington, where Manafort and another former Trump campaign aide are charged, challenges Mueller's decision to charge Manafort with alleged crimes that they say have nothing to do with the 2016 campaign, but rather relate to lucrative lobbying work Manafort and his deputy did for a former Russia-friendly government in Ukraine. That work ended in 2014, the suit says. Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates deny the allegations in the charges.

The legal action represents a new tack in a broader effort by supporters of the President to push back on the special counsel. Some Republicans have begun publicly calling for Mueller's probe to be shut down. Manafort's attorneys have echoed the President's criticism that Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election is pursuing crimes that never happened.

The Manafort lawsuit alleges Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller have unlawfully exceeded the authorities allowed under the law governing special counsel appointments. The lawsuit contends that the order Rosenstein signed to appoint Mueller "exceeds the scope of Mr. Rosenstein's authority to appoint special counsel as well as specific restrictions on the scope of such appointments."

A DOJ spokesperson responded with a statement, saying: "The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants."

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.

Some of those subpoenas seek records from as early as 2005. In August, a prosecutor from Mueller's office told Manafort that he'd be prosecuted for alleged crimes dating back to 2010, the complaint says. When Manafort's lawyers asked Rosenstein in fall 2017 for clarification on whether Mueller's team had the go-ahead to broaden the investigation into earlier years, they heard nothing back, the complaint says. Manafort's indictment includes actions he took from 2006 to 2014.

In previous court filings, prosecutors said they've collected 400,000 documents related to Manafort and Gates' case, and identified 2,000 of those documents as especially relevant.

The lawsuit's focus is on a part of the Rosenstein order that says that Mueller may investigate "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." The Manafort lawyers say that goes beyond what the law allows Rosenstein to empower Mueller to do.

The Rosenstein order gives Mueller "carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across while investigating, no matter how remote from the specific matter identified as the subject of the appointment order," the lawsuit says.

The Manafort lawsuit alleges that even if Rosenstein's order is lawful, Mueller has exceeded his authority.

It also says that Manafort met in 2014 with the Justice Department and the FBI in the government's investigation of his client, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, ousted amid street protests that year. The Manafort suit claims the government told Manafort he was a witness in the investigation. The special counsel has now charged Manafort with conduct he had already voluntarily disclosed, the lawsuit says.

Manafort "voluntarily met with DOJ prosecutors and FBI agents to discuss his offshore political consulting activities" in July 2014, the complaint says. At that time, the Justice Department told him they were working with Ukraine to locate stolen assets and focused on a former Ukrainian president, according to the complaint.

"The office of the special counsel charged Mr. Manafort with the very conduct he voluntarily disclosed to DOJ almost three years prior to the appointment of Mr. Mueller as special counsel," the complaint says.

Manafort's lawsuit notes that during his time working for the Ukrainian government he met regularly with the US ambassador in Kiev, suggesting that the US government knew what he was doing at the time.

The suit also cites the July FBI raid on Manafort's home, in which the special counsel team said it was seeking records of possible financial crimes dating to January 2006 -- a decade before the presidential campaign Mueller is investigating.

Manafort and Gates face a total of 12 criminal charges related to money laundering and failure to file federal disclosures. Both Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to appear again before the judge in the criminal case on January 16.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 129863

Reported Deaths: 2367
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin33310981
Ramsey13782357
Dakota9541137
Anoka8414150
Stearns566541
Washington546970
Scott329334
Olmsted318330
St. Louis285065
Wright236714
Nobles221916
Clay221443
Blue Earth20207
Carver17437
Kandiyohi16505
Sherburne163421
Rice16059
Mower150315
Winona123618
Crow Wing98021
Lyon9516
Chisago9502
Waseca9229
Benton9107
Beltrami8717
Otter Tail8187
Todd7695
Steele7413
Nicollet71417
Itasca70617
Morrison6948
Freeborn6594
Douglas6473
Le Sueur6145
Martin60616
Polk5964
McLeod5804
Watonwan5764
Goodhue55811
Becker5383
Pine5230
Isanti5195
Chippewa4243
Carlton4111
Mille Lacs38714
Dodge3860
Hubbard3692
Wabasha3590
Cass3575
Pipestone34217
Meeker3223
Brown3163
Rock3154
Yellow Medicine2755
Cottonwood2720
Murray2723
Redwood26911
Fillmore2500
Renville24311
Sibley2433
Roseau2280
Faribault2210
Wadena2153
Unassigned21153
Jackson2071
Houston1951
Kanabec19510
Swift1941
Stevens1771
Lincoln1760
Pennington1741
Aitkin1652
Koochiching1654
Pope1540
Big Stone1320
Lac qui Parle1313
Wilkin1294
Lake1150
Norman1080
Mahnomen1062
Marshall1031
Clearwater1010
Grant924
Red Lake692
Traverse540
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson380
Cook120

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112754

Reported Deaths: 1615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18617286
Woodbury704194
Johnson576330
Black Hawk544098
Linn5342129
Dubuque501657
Scott433738
Story394418
Dallas339744
Pottawattamie314844
Sioux236416
Buena Vista224112
Marshall198336
Webster180715
Plymouth161927
Wapello150562
Clinton143026
Muscatine140758
Crawford134414
Des Moines133610
Cerro Gordo131425
Warren12037
Carroll109912
Jasper107034
Henry10325
Marion96310
Lee93110
Tama92737
Delaware74212
Dickinson7217
Wright7101
Boone7039
Mahaska67024
Bremer6559
Harrison63711
Washington63411
Jackson5763
Benton5532
Lyon5337
Clay5144
Louisa51215
Winnebago46619
Hamilton4624
Hardin4606
Winneshiek4609
Kossuth4510
Poweshiek44711
Cedar4375
Buchanan4314
Jones4284
Floyd42511
Emmet42017
Clayton3933
Iowa3918
Cherokee3882
Page3860
Sac3854
Guthrie38015
Franklin37818
Cass3712
Mills3711
Shelby3621
Fayette3604
Butler3592
Madison3533
Allamakee3518
Chickasaw3411
Clarke3393
Humboldt3163
Palo Alto3082
Hancock3064
Grundy2925
Calhoun2904
Osceola2660
Howard2629
Monroe25811
Mitchell2430
Monona2361
Jefferson2311
Taylor2312
Union2234
Appanoose2203
Pocahontas2192
Lucas1986
Fremont1941
Ida1872
Greene1830
Van Buren1672
Davis1654
Montgomery1647
Keokuk1561
Adair1521
Decatur1480
Audubon1411
Worth1370
Wayne1163
Ringgold882
Adams740
Unassigned80
Rochester
Overcast
29° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 21°
Mason City
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 21°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
28° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Austin
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Charles City
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 23°
Another Round of Snow
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Rochester considers new downtown library complex

Image

Rochester Public Works Proposes Speed Limit Reduction

Image

Sports Overtime part two

Image

Sports Overtime part one

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast - Friday

Image

Outdoor dining is on the rise and grant funding is helping

Image

Preventing self storage thefts

Image

Big plans for a new library building in Rochester

Image

Rochester Public Works proposed speed limit reduction

Image

Candidates in Iowa House District 54 talk to KIMT

Community Events