Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, filed a lawsuit against the man who brought an indictment against him last year as part of the ongoing investigation into Trump's alleged ties to Russia.
His lawsuit, according to CNBC, targets special counsel Robert Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Department of Justice. The suit claims that Mueller went beyond the intended scope of his investigation when he indicted Manafort.
Aside from Trump's Twitter criticism of the Russia probe, Manafort's lawsuit appeared to be the most serious attack to date on Mueller's investigation.
“The actions of DOJ and Mr. Rosenstein in issuing the Appointment Order, and Mr. Mueller's actions pursuant to the authority the Order granted him, were arbitrary, capricious and not in accordance with the law,” the suit reads.
When Rosenstein appointed Mueller, he authorized the special counsel to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” But Manafort, according to CNN, accused Rosenstein of exceeding his authority when he appointed the special counsel, and in the authority he granted Mueller.
In response, a Justice Department spokesperson called the lawsuit “frivolous” but apparently didn't offer much detail as to how the department would proceed.
“The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants,” the spokesperson said.
In October, a grand jury indicted Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States. Many of the counts pertained to Manafort's work on behalf of the Ukrainian government.
Despite Manafort pleading guilty, authorities placed him under house arrest.
A federal judge later ordered Manafort to stop talking with the media in a way that would affect his trial's outcome. Mueller's team opposed lifting Manafort's house arrest after he allegedly ghost-wrote an editorial that they claimed sought to influence the public's opinion of him.