It Seems Mueller Just Doubled His Witness List For Manafort's Trial

Manafort is the subject of two indictments from the special counsel Robert Mueller's office.

The first, brought in Washington, DC, accuses Manafort of money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent, and making false statements to investigators. The Virginia case charges him with offences including tax and bank fraud. Both indictments center largely around Manafort's lobbying work for the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian interests.

Manafort's lawyers made similar arguments seeking dismissal to the judge in the District.

He quoted the Wall Street Journal's headline, "Judge Questions Mueller's Authority to Prosecute Manafort", and the headline run by CNN, "Judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump".

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud", Ellis told Dreeben.

'You really care about wanting information you could get from Mr. Manafort that would relate to Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution, or impeachment, or whatever, ' Ellis said.

"The vernacular is to 'sing, ' is what prosecutors use". Manafort headed Trump's campaign for about five months.

Experts also pointed out that Mueller did what any other prosecutor would have done during the course of an investigation.

None of the charges relate, however, to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign or possible collusion with Russian Federation. Gates also worked on the Trump campaign.

At the hearing, Justice Department attorney Michael Dreeben argued that Mueller acted properly and always consulted with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation, about the steps he was taking.

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Trump called Manafort "a nice guy" but also said he was part of his campaign for "a very short period of time".

Whether Manafort colluded with Russian government officials as Russia was trying to meddle in the 2016 USA election. "Blocking cooperation with the Mueller probe potentially cuts off a significant opportunity for Ukrainian law enforcement to conduct a more thorough inquiry into possible crimes committed during the Yanukovich era". He said that Mueller improperly took over existing Justice Department investigations into Manafort without adequately explaining what connection it had to the Russian Federation probe.

"I don't see what relationship this indictment has with anything the special counsel is authorised to investigate", US District Judge TS Ellis in the Eastern District of Virginia said.

"Come on, man!" Ellis said.

The judge's unusually provocative remarks and questions don't necessarily indicate how he will rule, but they put Mueller's team on the defensive.

The letter also includes questions the senators have about Mr. Lutsenko's office allegedly preventing the issuing of subpoenas to collect evidence and interview witnesses in four open cases related to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, echoed that view.

Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, has argued that a special counsel should be tightly constrained in how it operates.

He added: "Even if the judge ultimately does not take his view of Mueller's motivations into account in his ruling, he politicized the proceeding with comments that were unnecessary and created an appearance that he has a political agenda".

On the stage at the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas, Trump read headlines from news stories on Friday's hearing on Manafort's motion to dismiss the federal grand jury indictment against him in Virginia.

  • Adam Floyd