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Judge: Special counsel had authority to prosecute Paul Manafort
16 May 2018, 09:11 | Erica Roy
Yevgeny Prigozhin controls the company indicted on charges of conspiring to get Donald Trump elected. Source Getty
Her ruling also pointed to an August 2017 memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that detailed the scope of Mueller's investigation.
Jackson called it "logical and appropriate" for investigators tasked with probing for links between the Russian government and campaign associates "to direct their attention to him". On Tuesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, one of the two judges hearing the cases against Manafort, rejected these arguments.
"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".
In response to these charges, Manafort claimed that he could not be prosecuted by Special CounselRobert Mueller because the particular charges against him are outside of Mueller's properly delegated authority.
A USA judge rejected former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort'smotion to dismiss charges that arose in the Russian Federation investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to court documents.
The indictment said Concord was controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who US officials have said has extensive ties to Russia's military and political establishment.
Following the release of Jackson's opinion, Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, said, "Paul Manafort maintains his innocence and looks forward to prevailing in this matter".
In a court filing on Monday, lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting LLC said Mueller had wrongfully accused the company of a "make-believe crime", in a political effort by the special counsel to "justify his own existence" by indicting "a Russian-any Russian".
As Judge Jackson explains, Manafort's challenge to Mueller's authority fails for four reasons.
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's indictment includes a conspiracy count citing alleged conduct going into 2016. In addition to the Washington indictment, Manafort also faces charges in Virginia of bank fraud and tax evasion.
That judge, T.S. Ellis, said he believed prosecutors were using the charges against Manafort to try to get him to turn against Trump. The Virginia federal judge, TS Ellis, has not yet ruled on the question.
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