Third, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had broad authority to "authorize the Special Counsel to investigate not only 'links and/or coordination, ' but also, 'any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.'" So even if the charges against Manafort were not sufficiently tied to Russian Federation, they could still potentially proceed under the remainder of the powers delegated to Mueller. The charges against him in the Washington case include conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States and failing to register as a foreign agent.
Judge Jackson previously dismissed a civil case Manafort filed against Mueller, in which Manafort's attorneys argued that the scope of Mueller's investigation was too broad.
"His work on behalf of the Russia-backed Ukrainian political party and connections to other Russian figures are matters of public record", Jackson wrote.
A Russian firm accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of funding a conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 presidential election claimed Monday that the government hasn't shown that it intentionally broke the law. 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". "More important, the Acting Attorney General has confirmed in writing that he assigned the Special Counsel the specific responsibility to investigate the very allegations that comprise the Superseding Indictment", the ruling continued. In her 37-page ruling, Jackson went through a point-by-point rejection of Manafort's arguments, including his contention that Mueller had been given a "blank check" to investigate anything "he may stumble across".
Even if the charges arose from the challenged authority grant, Manafort can't win dismissal of the indictment because the Justice Department regulations regarding the appointment of special counsel don't create substantive rights for individuals under investigation, Jackson said. He faces a second set of charges in Virginia that include bank fraud and filing false tax returns.
That judge, T.S. Ellis, said he believed prosecutors were using the charges against Manafort to try to get him to turn against Trump.