Judge rejects Manafort attempt to dismiss criminal case

17 May, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Rudy Giuliani an attorney for President Donald Trump applauds at the Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights and democracy at the Grand Hyatt in Washington

Jay Goldberg, the attorney who represented President Donald Trump for nearly two decades, doesn't think Rudy Giuliani is fit to be handling the legal team tasked with handling special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

The ruling marks a setback for Manafort, who last month was buoyed when another US judge in Virginia who is hearing the tax charges against him questioned prosecutors about whether their case went beyond the mandate of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. He faces a second set of charges in Virginia that include bank fraud and filing false tax returns.

Critics point out the ongoing legal probe has found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government related to the 2016 presidential election, the basis on which the special counsel was called.

Judge Jackson added that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein followed the appropriate rules and possessed the judicial authority when he appointed Mueller to investigate the Russian government's efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Judge refuses to toss Manafort charges; another... "But the indictment will not be dismissed, and the matter will proceed to trial", Berman Jackson wrote in her opinion Tuesday.

Jackson said the regulations are not meant to allow investigation targets to use them to challenge criminal charges, but are intended to provide independence and accountability in sensitive investigations, giving a special counsel wide discretion while requiring department consultation and approval, which she said was done.

"Who had connections to the Russian government?"

"The Special Counsel would have been remiss to ignore such an obvious potential link between the Trump campaign and the Russian government", she wrote later in the opinion.

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"This is exactly what the Department of Justice regulations contemplate: a specific factual statement of the matters to be investigated. The management of the investigation into the allegations against Manafort has been consistent with the objectives and requirements of the set of regulations as a whole, as well as the terms of the individual regulation upon which the defendant relies", said Jackson, a 2011 Obama appointee.

Giuliani has taken a combative approach to the investigation since being brought on by the president last month.

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and resigned that August amid news reports about his activities in Ukraine. Manafort has asked a different federal judge there to dismiss his case on similar grounds.

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.

SC to reiterate name, but later
The Supreme Court Collegium meeting of Friday (May 11) threw up a solution of sorts, nearly exactly as India Legal had predicted. Justice K M Joseph's name was recommended along with that of senior advocate Indu Malhotra by the collegium on January 10.

The judge deemed that the indictment "falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel".

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