A federal district court judge on Tuesday rejected former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's request to toss out five criminal charges against him in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's Russian Federation investigation.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecution of Manafort on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine was within the authority that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted to Mueller in May.
Rosenstein "expressly approved the Special Counsel's investigation of the facts alleged in the indictment, so there has been no violation of the regulations, and the Special Counsel did not act without authority", she wrote. A federal judge has asked skeptical questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's authority to bring charges against former Manafort and suggested prosecutors' true motive is getting Manafort to "sing" against the president.
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Judge Jackson was not moved by any of Mr Manafort's assertions.
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. The judge there is weighing a similar request to dismiss a tax- and bank-fraud case against him. Berman Jackson wrote. "Given the combination of his prominence within the campaign and his ties to Ukrainian officials supported by and operating out of Russia, as well as to Russian oligarchs, Manafort was an obvious person of interest".
Additionally, Jackson said that the Justice Department regulations created for special counsel investigations are not enforceable for defendants in court.
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Jackson said that even if the Manafort case didn't arise from links to Russian Federation, and instead was a matter that arose from that investigation, the indictment should stand.
"He was appointed to take over an existing investigation, and it appears from the chronology and the written record that the matters contained in the Superseding Indictment were already a part of the ongoing inquiry that was lawfully transferred to the Special Counsel by the Department of Justice in May of 2017", she said. US District Judge T.S. Ellis III has yet to rule on it. Ellis had previously grilled Mueller's team on whether the case was within his mandate and questioned whether they brought the case to get Manafort to testify against Trump. Ellis has not yet ruled on Manafort's challenge to the indictment there.
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The hugely popular global event is organized by the European Broadcasting Union, an alliance of public service broadcasters. Australians can vote along with viewers and professional juries in all 43 participating countries to pick the victor .