U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Mueller had the right to bring the charges against Manafort, shutting down the argument by Manafort's lawyer that they had nothing to do with the Russian Federation investigation.
"First, the indictment falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel that Manafort finds unobjectionable: the order to investigate 'any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign, '" she continued.
Jackson said the case against Manafort should proceed even if scrutiny of his past activity came about not from the investigation of "links" to Russian but rather as a "matter that arose" from that probe.
The ruling marks a setback for Mr Manafort, who last month was buoyed when the judge in the Alexandria case aggressively questioned prosecutors about whether their case was overly broad and mused that he believed they were using the charges to get him to turn over dirt on Mr Trump.
After Jackson's ruling against Manafort, his spokesman Jason Maloni said Manafort "maintains his innocence and looks forward to prevailing in this matter".
"None of it had any relation to the campaign", Ellis said during the April 4 hearing.
Ellis set a trial date for July 10, but hasn't ruled yet on whether to dismiss.
In her ruling on Tuesday, Jackson expressed no such qualms about Mueller's authority. "She goes on to say: "[Even] if one posits that the scrutiny of Manafort's alleged activities on behalf of Ukraine did not flow from the investigation of "links" to Russian Federation that was assigned to the Special Counsel, and that instead, it was a "matter that arose" from that investigation, the indictment should not be dismissed".
Those regulations, Jackson said, "place no boundaries on who can be investigated or what charges can be brought-what they address is who decides who the prosecutor will be".
She defended the actions of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation and appointed Mueller after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.
Paul Manafort's defense against charges from special counsel Robert Mueller just took another hit. The memo shows Rosenstein authorised Mueller to investigate Manafort's Ukrainian work and related financial crimes. Previously Law&Crime speculated that maybe Trump might be waiting to see how the Manafort cases in EDVA and D.C. would shake out before making a decision about speaking to Mueller.
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