Russian company indicted by Mueller says charge is baseless

Russian company indicted by Mueller says charge is baseless

A Russian company accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of funding a propaganda operation to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election is asking a federal judge for access to secret information reviewed by a grand jury before it indicted the firm.

Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni issued a statement in response to the ruling.

Rudy Giuliani, the former NY mayor and the latest appointee to President Donald Trump's legal team, attends the 2018 Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights & Democracy, in Washington, D.C., on May 5. The charges against him in the Washington case include conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his lobbying work for Ukrainian politicians dating back to a decade ago.

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He faces a separate set of bank fraud and other financial charges in Virginia, for a trial set to begin in July.

"Even if a judge were to conclude that the regulations could give rise to rights that can be enforced in a courtroom", Judge Jackson wrote in her memorandum, "the Acting Attorney General did not violate those regulations when he exercised his statutory authority to authorize the Special Counsel to investigate not only 'links and/or coordination, ' but also, 'any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation'".

Jackson was not moved by any of Manafort's assertions. And Donald Trump cited them in a speech to the National Rifle Association to claim that Mueller's indictment is a "phony Russian Federation witch hunt".

Jackson said it was "logical and appropriate" for investigators to probe Manafort's dealings with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted by street protests in 2014 and now lives in exile in Russian Federation.

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In response to these charges, Manafort claimed that he could not be prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller because the particular charges against him are outside of Mueller's properly delegated authority.

Republicans in the House of Representatives who are critical of the Mueller probe have pressed the Justice Department in recent months to provide them with an unredacted copy of the August memo. On Tuesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, one of the two judges hearing the cases against Manafort, rejected these arguments. Ellis has not yet ruled on Manafort's motion to dismiss the charges against him in the tax case.

He told prosecutors to turn over a copy to him by Friday.

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