Indicted Russian Firm Accuses US Of Inventing 'Make-Believe Crime'

MUELLER MADNESS: Charged Company Says Mueller Out to 'Indict ANY Russian'

MUELLER MADNESS: Charged Company Says Mueller Out to 'Indict ANY Russian'

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.

A United States judge rejected former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's motion to dismiss charges that arose in the Russian Federation investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to court documents. That memo explicitly gave Mueller authority to probe all of Manafort's Ukraine-related work predating the 2016 campaign.

Manafort had argued that Mueller has exceeded his investigatory authority and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's directive for Mueller to pursue "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation" fell outside the scope of Justice Department regulations on special counsels.

Manafort, she wrote, "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".

"It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges", Jackson said.


The indictment said Concord was controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who USA officials have said has extensive ties to Russia's military and political establishment.

Third, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had broad authority to "authorize the Special Counsel to investigate not only 'links and/or coordination, ' but also, 'any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.'" So even if the charges against Manafort were not sufficiently tied to Russian Federation, they could still potentially proceed under the remainder of the powers delegated to Mueller.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, speaks to the media with an announcement that the office of special counsel Robert Mueller says a grand jury has charged 13 Russian nationals and several Russian entities, February 16, 2018, in Washington.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, none of which are directly related to work he performed for Trump's campaign. But US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson disagreed. In Virginia, he faces charges that include bank fraud and filing false tax returns. US District Judge TS Ellis III has yet to rule on it. Ellis had previously grilled Mueller's team on whether the case was within his mandate and questioned whether they brought the case to get Manafort to testify against Trump.

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