Judge Appears Skeptical Of Manafort's Civil Lawsuit Against DOJ, Mueller

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort is being investigated for allegations he colluded with Russia

The memo, attached to Monday night's court argument and not previously disclosed even to Manafort, describes how Rosenstein's public order that appointed Mueller in May left out some details so it didn't confirm "specific investigations involving specific individuals".

Mueller's team in a filing on Monday rebutted Manafort and asked the court to dismiss his lawsuit, saying it "lacks merit". Panera Bread website leaked customer data The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE in his lawsuit seeking to limit the scope of Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's special counsel investigation, Reuters reports. That appointment allowed Mueller to investigate links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, plus "any matters that arose or arise directly from the investigation".

Manafort was seen arriving at the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday morning for his scheduled appearance before Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

"None of the authorities Manafort cites justifies dismissing an indictment signed by a duly appointed Department of Justice prosecutor based on an asserted regulatory violation, and none calls into question the jurisdiction of this court", the special counsel's office wrote.

Pressed by the judge about how Manafort could sue now if he was trying to stop activity by the special counsel's office that hadn't happened yet, Manafort's lead attorney Kevin Downing argued that the harm to Manafort was ongoing because the special counsel's investigation and the grand jury were still active.

The former Trump aide filed a civil lawsuit against Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on January 3 in a bid to have the charges against him dropped. Manafort continues to his innocence and could face trial as early as September. At Wednesday's hearing, Downing also said that he was no longer pursuing the second count - focused on Mueller himself - and that the lawsuit was just challenging the appointment order.

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Manafort is one of a number of people already charged in Mr Mueller's probe, which has hung over Mr Trump's presidency. Manafort's claims, he said, "can and will be adjudicated in those other cases".

The description largely outlines the charges against Manafort, which mostly relate to allegations that he conspired to launder tens of millions of dollars he received from his Ukrainian political consulting including his work on Yanukovych's behalf. The current charges include money laundering, conspiring to hide his work for Ukraine from United States officials, filing false tax returns, and bank fraud. The Justice Department didn't file that memo in Manafort's civil case, but Jackson asked Downing and the Justice Department about its significance on Wednesday.

The Dutch son-in-law of a prominent Russian billionaire became the first person Tuesday to be sentenced as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's 11-month, evolving investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Later, Downing clarified that the civil lawsuit was not seeking the dismissal of Manafort's charges but rather "prospective relief", an injunction preventing future action by Mueller's team.

"Chasing indictment after indictment is not an adequate remedy", Downing said.

The Justice Department is handling the defense against Manafort's civil suit, but at least a half dozen lawyers from the special counsel's office attended Wednesday's hearing, including Manafort prosecutors Andrew Weissmann, Greg Andres, and Brian Richardson.

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