Manafort Sues the Department of Justice, Claims It Has Exceeded Its Authority


Former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has filed a lawsuit against the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling.  The lawsuit challenges the authority of special counsel Robert Mueller, and alleges the appointment of Mueller by the Justice Department violated the law.

The lawsuit asserts that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller have unlawfully exceeded their authority under the law governing special counsel appointments.  In Manafort’s view, Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller exceeded “the scope of Mr. Rosenstein’s authority to appoint special counsel as well as specific restrictions on the scope of such appointments.”

The lawsuit focuses on the part of the order that gives Mueller the authority to investigate any matter that may arise directly from the investigation.  That gives Mueller “carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across while investigating, no matter how remote from the specific matter identified as the subject of the appointment order,” Manafort’s lawsuit says.

Manafort, along with an aide, were indicted by the Mueller last October on 12 counts of money laundering and failure to properly file federal disclosures.  In response to today’s lawsuit, a Department of Justice spokesperson said via a statement: “The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants.”

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