Judge refuses to dismiss ex-Trump campaign aide Manafort's criminal case

16 May, 2018, 08:08 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Judge denies ex Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s request to dismiss his federal indictment

Paul Manafort's defense against charges from special counsel Robert Mueller just took another hit.

Manafort had asked the judge to identify and punish government officials who allegedly disclosed secret information that appeared in reports by the Associated Press, the New York Times, CNN, NBC News and BuzzFeed.

A federal judge ruled against the legal motion from Paul Manafort to dismiss charges filed as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election tampering.

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.

She added that it was appropriate for federal investigators to look into Manafort's business connections in Russia and Ukraine while Mueller's office investigated possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

This means that the criminal case against Manafort in Washington D.C. can move forward. "The regulations do not allow for such an expansive appointment".

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She cited an August 2017 memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that prosecutors had filed in the case.

"Manafort's civil case will be dismissed", United States District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote in the order.

He said Mueller didn't care about Manafort's alleged bank and tax fraud and wanted to use Manafort as a vehicle to get to Trump. It also accuses him of fraudulently obtaining millions in loans from financial institutions including while he worked for the Trump campaign. Manafort had argued that Mueller had exceeded his authority because the case was unrelated to Russian election interference.

"It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges, and it will be the prosecution's burden to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt".

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Mueller had the right to bring the charges against Manafort, shutting down the argument by Manafort's lawyer that they had nothing to do with the Russian Federation investigation.

This is notable because the Trump Administration, including Donald Trump, used Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) Judge T.S. Ellis' pointed line of questioning about Mueller's authority a week and half ago in a separate fraud case to suggest that even a federal judge recognizes that a witch hunt is afoot.

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