Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, challenged Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s authority to investigate the crimes he was indicted on. Lawyers for Manafort asked a judge to dismiss charges including money laundering, conspiracy and false statements.
In response, Mueller released a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outlining the scope and specific allegations against individuals to be investigated. The heavily redacted memo, to remove any portions relating to individuals other than Manafort, proves Mueller had authority to investigate Manafort.
The memo, signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, refers to a May 2017 appointment order directing Mueller to begin investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. The original appointment also covered “any matters that arose or may arise directly” from his probe.
But the supplemental August 2, 2017, memo provides specific allegations against key members of the Trump administration to fully investigate.
Yes, this investigation is about the Trump campaign colluding with Russian…
A new leaked memo shows that Rosenstein approved a request by Mueller to investigate whether campaign chairman, Manafort “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials”
— Brian Krassenstein🐬 (@krassenstein) April 3, 2018
Manafort’s appeal of his indictments hinged on his claim Mueller overreached on the scope of the Russia investigation by charging him for actions that occurred before the 2016 presidential election. He based this on the May 2017 appointment document.
But the second bullet point under the specific Manafort allegations, on page 3 of the August memo, covers the time frame and actions Manafort claimed Mueller had no right to investigate.
Mueller’s investigation included allegations that Manafort committed crimes related to “payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of (former Ukrainian) President Viktor Yanukovych.”