Judge poses pointed questions about Mueller's authoriy at Manafort hearing

06 May, 2018, 00:01 | Author: Edward Snyder

"What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment".

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that Cohen "received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA".

Mueller and Rod Rosenstein attempted to bootstrap authority in an August 4, 2017 memo, we previously discussed in Rosenstein Memo confirming Mueller could investigate Manafort came a week after raid on Manafort's home:...

Last week, a judge dismissed the civil suit, saying Manafort should defend himself against the charges during the criminal trials instead of through the civil case.

Manafort faces numerous charges, including money laundering and failing to register as an agent of a foreign country, for his work as a lobbyist on behalf of a Russia-back Ukrainian political party.

He then said Judge Ellis "is really something special, I hear from many standpoints".

"You have a group of investigators that are so Democratic. they went to Hillary Clinton's celebration which turned out to be a funeral", Trump said.

"C'mon man!" Ellis reportedly exclaimed to Mueller's prosecutors, telling them later, "We don't want anyone with unfettered power".

While speaking to the NRA at a conference in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, Trump read out Ellis's remarks and said that he felt sympathy for Manafort, and agreed with Ellis about Mueller's motivation.

Meanwhile, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is serving as Trump's personal attorney, told ABC News Friday he thinks there's a "50/50" chance that Mueller will subpoena the president.

"So I would love to speak", he told reporters.

Mueller seems to think his original charge is irrelevant, and that he can go beyond it and use his prosecutorial power to bring pressure on anyone he wants, in any way he wants, regardless of the matter's relevance to the Russian Federation investigation, if the end result is that it will yield him something he can use to damage the president. The redactions, Dreben argued, were made for national security reasons. "It's unlikely you're going to persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants", he told Dreeben.

Dreeben pointed out the details of the scope of the probe were communicated to Mueller. Trump and other Republicans have gone so far as to repeatedly describe the investigation as a "witch hunt".

The sharp tone of the judge's comments could spell trouble for Mueller's case against Manafort and put even greater pressure on Rosenstein to rein in the Russian Federation investigation.

"We're all fighting battles, but I love fighting these battles", he said.

Manafort's lawyers have tried to have the charges against him in both Virginia and Washington, D.C., federal court dismissed for several months now. In the most recent filing, they argued that the Mueller investigation has provided no evidence of contact or communications between Manafort and any Russian officials, and therefore has "no lawful authority or jurisdiction to investigate or prosecute" Manafort. The trail is set to begin on July 10, 2018.

Manafort's lawyers are also seeking to get the the Washington indictments dropped, on similar grounds.

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