DOJ wants Manafort’s suit against Mueller dismissed

Getty Images/Greg Nash

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort claiming that the department overstepped its authority by appointing the special counsel who indicted him on conspiracy charges. 

In a Friday court filing, the Justice Department asked to dismiss the civil lawsuit against special counsel Robert Mueller, which claims his charges against Manafort had nothing to do with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. 

{mosads}The Manafort lawsuit, filed to a U.S. District Court in Washington last month, claims that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not have the legal authority to put Mueller on the case, saying the decision “exceeds the scope of Mr. Rosenstein’s authority to appoint special counsel as well as specific restrictions on the scope of such appointments.”

Manafort also argued that the charges against him on foreign lobbying for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine should therefore be dismissed. 

The Justice Department argued that the claims “lack merit,” and pointed to Rosenstein’s December testimony before Congress that Mueller’s investigation was being carried out within its set boundaries. 

“The Special Counsel is properly operating within the scope of his authority, including with respect to Manafort’s ongoing criminal prosecution,” according to the DOJ attorneys in the brief.

Manafort now faces a 12-count indictment at the district court related to his foreign consulting work, including conspiracy against the U.S., tax evasion and money laundering. 

Tags Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein

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