A federal judge just handed Mueller a major win in Trump-Russia investigation

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President Trump’s indicted former campaign manager just lost his disastrous civil lawsuit against Special Counsel Mueller when a DC federal judge dismissed the case. (order embedded below)

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Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been indicted by the Special Counsel’s office in two federal courts on felony charges of being the secret agent of a foreign power under the FARA law, money laundering, lobbying violations, mortgage fraud and tax charges.

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In January, Manafort’s team filed a legal ‘hail mary pass’ in civil court, asking the same federal judge overseeing the DC criminal case to toss Mueller’s probe because he was charged with crimes outside the immediate scope of the 2016 election. Federal judge Berman ruled against Manafort’s lawsuit, saying that a civil court isn’t the place to fight criminal charges against the Department of Justice. 

Manafort’s own lawyers withdrew most of his claims after prosecutors filed their responses, probably because, in federal court, a frivolous civil litigation claim can quickly land the plaintiff and client in financial penalties.

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So the judge mockingly ruled that Manafort had little or nothing left to challenge about Special Counsel Mueller’s appointment because he has the opportunity to fight the criminal court charges in criminal court.

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Here is an excerpt:

Last summer, President Trump infamously declared that his personal finances or those of his associates were a “red line” that Special Counsel Mueller should not cross.

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Mueller crossed that “red line” in both December and last month by raiding Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Now, Paul Manafort’s civil lawsuit has effectively erased Trump’s “red line” by failing to dent Special Counsel Mueller’s probe.

To date, the former Trump campaign manager’s efforts have only proved that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein is closely overseeing Special Counsel Mueller’s case, and they’re doing it by the book, in writing.

Paul Manafort’s defense lawyers also managed to disprove President Trump’s “no collusion” trope by convincing prosecutors to reveal that a judge approved a criminal search warrant to find information  about Don Jr.’s mid-election Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents.

Manafort appeared in criminal court last week with his lawyers, asking the same judge to dismiss the serious charges against him, but judge Berman hasn’t ruled in the DC case, yet.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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