Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday charging special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of exceeding the scope of the special counsel’s charter.
“The investigation of Mr. Manafort is completely unmoored from the special counsel’s original jurisdiction to investigate ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,’” the 17-page court filing alleges.
Fox News reported Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates pleaded not guilty in October to a 12-count indictment by Mueller’s team that included allegations of money laundering and making false statements regarding their business dealings in Ukraine.
Manafort’s complaint — filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia — states, “Those alleged dealings had no connection whatsoever to the 2016 presidential election or even to Donald Trump.”
According to the plaintiff’s legal team, their client voluntarily met with the Department of Justice in July 2014 to discuss his offshore political consulting activities.
Nonetheless, “The Office of the Special Counsel charged Mr. Manafort with the very conduct he voluntarily disclosed to the DOJ almost three years prior to the appointment of Mr. Mueller as Special Counsel,” the complaint reads.
Soon after Manafort’s meeting with the DOJ, the investigation, which was focused on a former Ukraine president, was closed, according to Manafort’s lawyers.
“The Special Counsel’s investigation and indictment resulted from a violation of numerous DOJ policies and procedures and otherwise exceeds the lawful authority to investigate links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government,” the complaint states.
Manafort is calling on the court to set aside the charges against him.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department said Manafort’s suit is without merit.
“The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants,” the spokesperson stated, according to The Hill.
Renowned legal expert Alan Dershowitz told Fox News last month that Mueller has a “credibility problem” on multiple fronts regarding his Russia investigation.
“He has been conducting a sloppy investigation, and that’s atypical of him,” the lawyer-scholar said of the former FBI director, “I’m surprised.”
“When you are going after the president, you have to be Caesar’s wife — you have to be above reproach. You can’t give the other side any ammunition, and he has given the other side plenty of ammunition,” Dershowitz stated.
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