Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation has gone so far beyond its legal authority that the charges against Paul Manafort must be dismissed, the former Trump campaign chairman said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
"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. "It has instead focused on unrelated, decade-old business dealings - specifically, Ukraine political campaign consulting activities of Mr. Manafort".
But many Trump backers took issue with Waters' poem of support to Mueller.
Manafort and associate Rick Gates were indicted in October on 12 counts, including charges of conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements.
Manafort claims to have disclosed these very activities to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July 2014. His complaint names the Justice Department, Mueller and Rosenstein, and he is suing under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act.
At the time of the May 2017 appointment of Mueller, Rosenstein said, "It is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter". "The appointment order purports to grant authority to the special counsel to expand the scope of his investigation to new matters without the consent of - indeed, without even consulting - any politically accountable officer of the United States". A spokesperson for the special counsel's office declined to comment. The DOJ has not yet responded to NewsHour's request for comment. The Manafort lawyers say that goes beyond what the law allows Rosenstein to empower Mueller to do.
Paul Manafort alleges in the lawsuit that Mueller exceeded his authority by investigating him for conduct that was not related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Department of Justice called the suit "frivolous".
Manafort alleges he's been "injured" by the investigation, causing him "significant reputational harm, has exposed him to invasions of his personal privacy, and has forced him to incur substantial costs and expenses to defend himself".