Trump's ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort sues Justice Department over Russian Federation probe

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort arrives at federal court in Washington Monday Dec. 11 2017

Attorneys for Manafort argued that Rosenstein overstepped his authority in May 2017 when he appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate "links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" and "any matters that arose or may arise directly from" that investigation.

The Rosenstein arrange gives Mueller "unlimited authority to research and seek after criminal accusations regarding anything he unearths while examining, regardless of how remote from the particular issue recognized as the subject of the arrangement arrange", the claim says.

The suit brought Wednesday in US District Court in Washington, where Manafort and another former Trump campaign aide are charged, challenges Mueller's decision to charge Manafort with alleged crimes that they say have nothing to do with the 2016 campaign, but rather relate to lucrative lobbying work Manafort and his deputy did for a former Russia-friendly government in Ukraine.

Manafort and business partner Rick Gates were indicted in October as part of Mueller's probe on a slew of charges, including money laundering.

It has focused instead on unrelated, decade-old business dealings that "had no connection whatsoever to the 2016 presidential election or even to Donald Trump", they said.

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Paul Manafort, the previous Trump crusade director prosecuted on tax evasion and different charges, recorded a claim testing the wide expert of extraordinary advice Robert Mueller and asserting the Justice Department disregarded the law in designating Mueller.

Manafort's case appears to be "an uphill battle that's unlikely to succeed", said Solomon Wisenberg, a Washington defence lawyer who worked under Whitewater probe Independent Counsel Ken Starr during the Clinton administration. He claims that Mueller's actions were "arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with the law", and that the court should set aside "all actions taken against Mr. Manafort". He says prosecutors overstepped their bounds by charging him for conduct he says is unrelated to Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department called the lawsuit "frivolous", but added that Manafort was "entitled to file whatever he wants".

The indictment said that to "hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities" from 2006 to at least 2016 Mr. Manafort "laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts".

The special counsel also charged Manafort with conduct he says he voluntarily disclosed to U.S. authorities in 2014, the suit claims.

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Mueller's spokesman, Peter Carr, said he hadn't seen the filing and declined to comment.

The charges against Manafort pertain to his work as a lobbyist for the government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from 2010 to 2014.

He said that during the 2014 interview, he discussed in detail his activities in Ukraine, his relationships with diplomats in Kyiv, and his offshore banking in Cyprus.

I don't know if Paul Manafort can win this suit, but the very fact that he's filing it means we've reached a point where someone has made a decision to stand up to one of these special counsels - an investigator no one can limit or fire, because politics decided that making the man "independent" was more important than safeguaring the rights of people who might become his targets.

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