Global News

House panel reaches agreement with Justice Dept.

House panel reaches agreement with Justice Dept.

In May, Mueller was appointed special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign after Attorney General Jeff Session recused himself from the investigation.

Rosenstein's lawsuit seeks to stop Mueller from investigating issues that are unrelated to Russian and alleged collusion.

"That exceeds the scope of Mr. Rosenstein's authority to appoint special counsel as well as specific restrictions on the scope of such appointments", the lawsuit said, arguing that Mueller has been given "carte blanche" to investigate "anything he stumbles across while investigating, no matter how remote".

The longtime political consultant was under house arrest for much of November and December of a year ago after a judge indicted him and one of his business associates, Rick Gates, on several felony charges in October, including conspiracy against the United States and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

Manafort's complaint also argues that the charges Mueller brought against him should be dropped because they involve activities that Mueller wasn't given the authority to investigate. Yet what emerges from this panicky plea is an acknowledgment that Mueller can investigate and prosecute the thing Trump fears the most-the question of whether Trump broke the law in order to build his fortune.

The complaint continued, "Those alleged dealings had no connection whatsoever to the 2016 presidential election or even to Donald Trump".

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Special Counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined comment.

It claims Manafort laundered money from overseas to buy houses, cars, clothes, antiques and landscaping services.

In a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in a federal court in Washington, DC, Manafort names Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the defendants. He said he met voluntarily with Justice Department prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in July 2014, or three years before Mueller's appointment, to discuss his "offshore political consulting activities".

Manafort was charged by Mueller back in October with failing to file offshore bank accounts and register as a foreign agent. He said that during the interview, he discussed in detail his activities in Ukraine, his relationships with diplomats in Kiev and his offshore banking in Cyprus.

If Mueller had in fact gone too far in charging Manafort, it would be up to the attorney general to call him on the conduct - and ultimately up to the president to withdraw the charges. He was also in frequent contact during the presidential campaign with George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser whose activities were reportedly the spark for the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, which began in July 2016. The Special Counsel justified that search by asserting that the Appointment Order grants him jurisdiction and authority to obtain materials that purportedly evidence potential criminal tax and white-collar crimes committed on or after January 1, 2006.

"I can assure you that the special counsel is conducting himself consistently with our understanding of the scope of the investigation", said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who Manafort accused of granting Mueller too much leeway with the Russian Federation probe.


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