Judge Throws Out Manafort’s Effort to Challenge Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Authority

A judge on Friday dismissed former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s lawsuit claiming that both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller exceeded their authority in the ongoing Russia investigation.

Manafort’s legal team argued that the charges against him exceeded the authority of the special counsel Russian investigation since they were not related specifically to Russian election interference.

The former Trump campaign manager has pleaded not guilty to bank fraud and crimes related to his foreign lobbying work, charges that stemmed from the Mueller probe.

But Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote Friday, “A civil case is not the appropriate vehicle for taking issue with what a prosecutor has done in the past or where he might be headed in the future.”

Manafort also asked the court to stop Mueller from bringing further charges against him in the lawsuit rejected on Friday.

Republican criticism of the ongoing Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether or not the Trump campaign was involved has shifted toward targeting the probe’s scope as it inches closer into the president’s inner circle.

“I’m concerned about it and Americans are, too,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said last week. “They should not go down the road of a partisan fishing investigation.”

“It’s very troubling that Bob Mueller has appointed a number of lawyers to his team who are partisan Democrats who’ve repeatedly been democratic donors,” Cruz added.

Trump has also turned up the heat on Mueller lately, even tweeting on Friday for the investigation to end immediately following the release of the House Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference. 

“Just Out: House Intelligence Committee Report released. “No evidence” that the Trump Campaign “colluded, coordinated or conspired with Russia.'” Trump tweeted.

“Clinton Campaign paid for Opposition Research obtained from Russia- Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!”

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