Judge rejects Manafort attempt to dismiss criminal case
17 May, 2018, 00:40 | Author: Irene Delgado
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has refused to toss criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The ruling marks a setback for Manafort, who last month was buoyed when another USA judge in Virginia who is hearing the tax charges against him questioned prosecutors about whether their case went beyond the mandate of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.
Manafort also faces a separate set of bank fraud and other financial charges in Virginia.
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In her opinion, Jackson rejected those arguments.
Her ruling also pointed to an August 2017 memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that detailed the scope of Mueller's investigation.
"It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges", Jackson said.
But Berman Jackson concluded for several reasons that Mueller's investigation and prosecution of Manafort is legal - and that the special counsel still can maintain some independence while working within the Department of Justice.
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Jackson said it was "logical and appropriate" for investigators to probe Manafort's dealings with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted by street protests in 2014 and now lives in exile in Russian Federation.
"Manafort was, at one time, not merely 'associated with, ' but the chairman of, the presidential campaign, and his work on behalf of the Russia-backed Ukrainian political party and connections to other Russian figures are matters of public record", she wrote.
"This is exactly what the Department of Justice regulations contemplate: a specific factual statement of the matters to be investigated".
Giuliani has taken a combative approach to the investigation since being brought on by the president last month.
Manafort's indictment includes a conspiracy count citing alleged conduct going into 2016.
The judge deemed that the indictment "falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel".
Tuesday's opinion by Jackson was issued days after both sides argued a similar set of issues to dismiss charges before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Ellis has not yet ruled on Manafort's motion to dismiss the charges against him in the tax case.
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