Manafort Tries To Escape Prosecution By Suing Mueller, Gets Crushing Ruling From Federal Judge
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Friday tossed out former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s lawsuit challenging the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
In her decision, the federal judge wrote that the court should not exercise its equitable powers to interfere with or enjoin an ongoing criminal case.
“It is a sound and well-established principle that a court should not exercise its equitable powers to interfere with or enjoin an ongoing criminal investigation when the defendant will have the opportunity to challenge any defect in the prosecution in the trial court or on direct appeal.
“Therefore, the Court finds that this civil complaint must be dismissed.”
The former Trump aide is charged along with his business associate, Richard Gates, of hiding millions of dollars made from lobbying work in Ukraine from U.S. authorities. Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year.
He filed the lawsuit in January, claiming that Mueller’s investigation is overly broad and not permitted under Justice Department regulations.
“By ignoring the boundaries of the jurisdiction granted to the Special Counsel in the Appointment Order, Mr. Mueller acted beyond the scope of his authority. Mr. Mueller’s actions must be set aside,” a January court filing from Manafort’s team said.
Manafort’s lawyers argued that Mueller’s appointment was illegal and that the charges against the former campaign chairman, which surround his lobbying work for pro-Russian political parties in Ukraine, fall outside the scope of Mueller’s work.
The Justice Department called Manafort’s lawsuit “frivolous” after it was filed.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. his trial is set to begin in September.