Ex-Trump campaign chair asks judge to dismiss charges

Pauline Gross
March 16, 2018

Saying those cases have gone nowhere, the Beast reports that serving Ukrainian politicians and former Manafort colleagues have "repeatedly" told the publication that in a country embroiled in a protracted conflict with rebels, buffeted by corruption scandals, and facing its own presidential election next year, politicians are chary of upsetting Trump. He is charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent for his work on behalf of Ukrainian interests as well as lying to the government. Acknowledging that Mueller was granted the power to investigate and prosecute whatever he discovered during his Russian Federation probe, Manafort claims that Mueller didn't discover the allegations against him because federal prosecutors were already aware of these allegations in the past and chose not to prosecute.

His attorneys contend Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein overstepped his authority by giving Mueller permission to prosecute any unrelated crimes that are discovered during the investigation of Russian Federation.

Similar to what he argued in his civil lawsuit against Mueller and the Justice Department, Manafort claims that the appointment order that put Mueller in place was way too broad. It also gives Mueller the authority to investigate "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation", and that's where Manafort argues it went too far.

The filing also said Mueller was given a blank check for a wide-ranging investigation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who it insist exceeded his legal authority by "granting Mr. Mueller a carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across".

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In a motion to dismiss the charges, Manafort's attorneys argued the alleged crimes predate Manafort's involvement in the Trump campaign and therefore fall outside of the jurisdiction of special counsel Robert Mueller. Manafort's attorneys argue that allowing both charges to go forward would violate his Fifth Amendment protection from double jeopardy.

Manafort, 68, is accused of money laundering, tax fraud, and banking fraud connected to work he and his partner Richard Gates did for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's government from 2006 to 2014, when Yanukovych was ousted by pro-European Maidan street protests and fled to Russian Federation. But his former associate Rick Gates, another former Trump campaign aide, is thought to be cooperating with Mueller after pleading guilty.

Foreign lobbying registration violations compose most of his DC criminal indictment - though allegations that he laundered money through foreign bank accounts to avoid paying taxes are part of a separate case he faces from Mueller in Virginia. He also faces nine charges of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy, which each carry a maximum 30 years in prison, for 270 years maximum.

Other reports by GizPress

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