United States judge refuses to dismiss case against Manafort

Trump If FBI spied on my campaign ‘bigger than Watergate

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

As the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller turned a year old May 10, there are increasing calls to wrap things up, including in recent days from Vice President Mike Pence and from John Kelly, chief of staff to President Trump. But he did object to the grant of authority to investigate "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

"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".

Manafort had claimed special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment order was too broad, and thus his investigation had overstepped its legal authority. "But the indictment will not be dismissed, and the matter will proceed to trial".

After Jackson's ruling against Manafort, his spokesman Jason Maloni said Manafort "maintains his innocence and looks forward to prevailing in this matter".

Whether Manafort colluded with Russian government officials as Russia was trying to meddle in the 2016 USA election. He faces a second set of charges in Virginia that include bank fraud and filing false tax returns. Berman Jackson wrote. "Given the combination of his prominence within the campaign and his ties to Ukrainian officials supported by and operating out of Russia, as well as to Russian oligarchs, Manafort was an obvious person of interest".

"This is exactly what the Department of Justice regulations contemplate". Manafort has asked a different federal judge there to dismiss his case on similar grounds. That memo explicitly gave Mueller authority to probe all of Manafort's Ukraine-related work predating the 2016 campaign.

Manafort's lawyers' previous push for dismissal hinged on the argument that because the crimes in question do not directly relate to Mueller's core mandate - investigating whether members of Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow - he was not authorized to charge Manafort with them. "More important, the Acting Attorney General has confirmed in writing that he assigned the Special Counsel the specific responsibility to investigate the very allegations that comprise the Superseding Indictment", the ruling continued.

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