Manafort Sues Justice Dept. Over Mueller Investigation

Ex-Trump campaign manager wants charges against him dropped and Mueller removed
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2018 4:39 PM CST
In this Nov. 6, 2017 photo, Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington. Manafort has sued special counsel Robert Mueller saying he exceeded...   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is challenging special counsel Robert Mueller's authority to investigate crimes and seeking to have the indictment against himself thrown out, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit calls the actions of Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the Department of Justice "arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with the law." At issue is what the lawsuit claims was overly broad authority granted to Mueller by Rosenstein, CNN reports. Mueller was given orders to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, as well as "any matters that arose or may arise directly from that."

Manafort has been charged with money laundering, fraud, and more as part of Mueller's investigation. But the lawsuit claims those charges have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, instead arising from lobbying work Manafort did on behalf of Ukrainian groups. The lawsuit states that work ended in 2014. The lawsuit—which seeks to have Mueller removed as special counsel and prohibited from similar investigations against Manafort—states the indictment against Manafort "is completely unmoored from the special counsel's original jurisdiction." A spokesperson for the Department of Justice says Manafort's lawsuit "is frivolous, but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants."

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