Paul Manafort Sues DOJ, Challenges Mueller’s Authority

CNN reports:

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman indicted on money laundering and other charges, filed a lawsuit challenging the broad authority of special counsel Robert Mueller and alleging the Justice Department violated the law in appointing Mueller.

The suit brought Wednesday in US District Court in Washington where Manafort and another former Trump campaign aide are charged, challenges Mueller’s decision to charge Manafort with alleged crimes that they say have nothing to do with the 2016 campaign, but rather relate to lucrative lobbying work Manafort and his deputy did for a former Russia-friendly government in Ukraine. That work ended in 2014, the suit says. Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates deny the allegations in the charges.

The Manafort lawsuit alleges Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller have unlawfully exceeded the authorities allowed under the law governing special counsel appointments. The lawsuit contends that the order Rosenstein signed to appoint Mueller “exceeds the scope of Mr. Rosenstein’s authority to appoint special counsel as well as specific restrictions on the scope of such appointments.”

  • Lazycrockett

    This will not end well for Manfort.

  • safari

    My understanding is that Mueller is perfectly capable of spinning off crimes discovered in his work to other DOJ investigators.

    • bkmn

      Or his team are free to prosecute them, especially if they could be tied to the initial reason for the special counsel.

    • Buford

      I think that’s the issue here. Rosenstein told Muller to investigate Trump/Russia and all things found while investigating Trump/Russia… and Manafort is claiming that Rosenstein had no power to authorize such a broad investigation under the Special Counsel rules.

      I’m no legal expert, so I’m very interested to see how this shakes out.

      • William

        There was wording in the Special Counsel order about any other crimes discovered, or some such.

        Otherwise, how did Ken Starr go from Whitewater to a bj by Monica.

        • RaygunsGoZap

          Linda Starr!

        • Buford

          I know, I know… jeez. The point of Manafort’s suit is that Rosenstein’s order was overly-broad per the Special Counsel statutes. The big question here is whether that argument has merit or not.

          Manafort’s lawsuit specifically references the Ken Starr investigation.

  • basementmatt

    Goodness, I hope he doesn’t get off on a technicality. We know how much the law-and-order crowd hates that.

  • AtticusP

    Desperate, party of one.

    • Oh, I don’t think he will be alone long at the desperation table.

      • AtticusP

        Here’s hoping they need an airplane hangar!

  • Ninja0980

    Someone seems desperate.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    So much for cutting a deal now — bye Paulie!

  • bkmn

    He does not have very good lawyers, if they agreed to this.

    • Gustav2

      They are just throwing bullshit at the wall to see if any of it sticks.

      • bkmn

        A technique that good lawyers don’t use often.

        • Gustav2

          But a technique that desperate lawyers use often.

        • Gigi

          Ambulance chasers do.

        • JT

          It’s a legal version of a popular Nazi technique.

        • lattebud

          And judges remember lawyers that this crap

      • KevInPDX

        A talking head on NPR thought this was a way for Manafort to get around the gag order on him and plead his case in the news media(?).

    • teeveedub

      Sounds like a desperation P.R. move more than an actual legal strategy.

    • Gigi

      They charge by the hour.

      • Rambie

        I’ll take, “What do layers and prostitutes have in common” for 1000 Alex.

    • Rambie

      It’s just noise for FOX “News” to harp about and try to undermind Muller’s team

      • thomas

        hey rambie fuck you sanders fake commie an dfuck you and eat shit pig

    • Bob Conti

      Dear Paul,

      Nobody gives two fucks about you, including the Dear Leader.


      • jeffg166

        Watch out for the bus.

        • Jon

          That bus is just blocking 45’s giant ass on the golf course this week.

          • thomas

            and how about i shove that bus up your ass

          • Bob Conti

            I think that was a tractor-trailer rig.

      • thomas

        hey bob condi we don’t give a fuck about you faggot asshole pig shit face asshole

        • Bob Conti

          Wow! And you wonder why you don’t get invited to nice parties.

  • anne marie in philly

    ah shaddap, you lying sack o shit traitor! I wanna see you ROT IN JAIL!

    • Hey there Anne Marie! How ya be?

      • anne marie in philly

        I be fine, biki; how about you? happy new year!

  • Bambino

    Translation: Dear Putin, I am fighting like crazy not to sell you out. I am really trying.

  • William

    Good job, annoy the people prosecuting you.

  • customartist

    The level of greed is disgusting

  • BlackGayVeganAtheist

    This is why Paul should have NEVER been released from house arrest…

    • gaycuckhubby

      Huh? He could sue from everywhere. Even prison

      • RaygunsGoZap

        I believe he’s was referencing the fact that the court and Mueller have been very fair in entertaining his requests to alter the house arrest conditions

        • gaycuckhubby


      • Juvela Bumblebee

        True, but I would like to see this turn his house arrest into some place a lot less comfortable… Turkish prison? He has already pulled way too much crap.

  • HoneyBoySmith

    Is this serious?

    So, if a law enforcement officer comes to my house with a warrant to search for evidence of copyright infringement, the investigator should ignore the dead body on the living room floor?

    It’s a nonsense argument.

    • Buford

      A better analogy – if the cop had a warrant to search your house but found drugs after expanding the search to include your garage…when the garage was not included in the warrant language… you’d fight that drug charge.

      • The_Wretched

        iff that’s what the warrant said. I’m pretty sure Mueller’s warrant is a bit more open ended.

        • Buford

          Again, that’s the issue. As I wrote below, Rosenstein’s ‘warrant’ told Mueller to investigate Trump/Russia and any/all things found while investigating Trump/Russia… and Manafort is claiming that Rosenstein had no power to authorize such a broad investigation under the Special Counsel rules. Manafort’s suit claims that the Special Counsel is only supposed to investigate very specific things… not open-ended trails of related items.

          • The_Wretched


            Mueller’s empower letter is not narrowly drawn. It’s the conservative press that’s trying to push the idea that it is. Base is that Mueller picks up any all all COMEY initiated investigations and includes but is not limited to (b)(i-iii).

          • Buford

            Again, you’re missing the point. Manafort’s lawsuit simply says that Rosenstein had no authority to empower Mueller to investigate “all things related”. Per Manafort, the Special Counsel rules demand that these investigations focus on a very specific, tightly-constrained scope… and that they cannot be open-ended to allow “all things related”.

            Unless someone here knows why that’s inaccurate, it seems to me that this could get interesting. Manafort says that Rosenstein/Mueller were to investigate only Trump/Russia, so indicting Manafort for 2005 mis-filings not related to Trump/Russia SPECIFICALLY was unauthorized.

          • The_Wretched

            Then Manafort’s collateral attack suit is even weaker than I thought. Rosenstein is the DOJ and has the rights and powers of the DOJ and that entirely includes delegation of the non-Russia or ‘stumbled into’ matters.

            Like I’ve been saying, the suit isn’t entirely frivolous but I don’t think it has much merit. If it’s upheld, I’d suspect politics of the judge (and why they went for a new suit vs filing a motion with the existing case instead).

      • HoneyBoySmith

        Your analogy would only be better if Mueller had expanded his search.

        There’s no evidence that he’s done that. If he had, Rod Rosenstein would’ve curtailed his investigatory authority and assigned the uncovered matter to an unrelated US Attorney.

        The fact that Mueller has been allowed to pursue the matter indicates that everything being done is within the original mandate.

        • Buford

          Again, read Manafort’s suit. His claim is that Rosenstein had no authority to empower Mueller to investigate the ‘all things related’ which effectively allows Mueller’s investigation to be open-ended and unconstrained. Mueller is doing exactly what Rosenstein empowered him to do, but Manafort is claiming that Rosenstein has no authority to do that when the Special Counsel rules require very focused, specific investigations.

          Again, I’m simply asserting that this might get interesting unless someone here can explain why Manafort is wrong.

          • Rambie

            That’s a BS argument that the CONs are pushing. They should know after Ken Star’s multi-year investigation that this argument is full of holes.

          • Buford

            Manafort’s suit clearly mentions Ken Starr’s investigation. Did you read the lawsuit?

          • Steverino

            As the saying goes about the special counsel’s investigation of Bill Clinton: “an investigation that started off involving a bad real estate deal (Whitewater) ended up with a semen-stained blue dress and impeachment for lying under oath.”

          • HoneyBoySmith

            His claim is that Rosenstein had no authority to empower Mueller to investigate the ‘all things related’

            Which, as I said initially, is a nonsense argument.

            [it] effectively allows Mueller’s investigation to be open-ended

            And, that’s a nonsense statement. Nothing about it is true.

            The effect of Rosenstein’s directive here is to grant Mueller the authority that EVERY US ATTORNEY HAS. And, as Special Counsel Mueller has, under the law, the authority of a US Attorney.

            Rosenstein, in his authorizing memo, was simply restating the law.

            Manafort won’t win this.

            Hell, his lawyers should be sanctioned for wasting the court’s time with such a ridiculous argument.

          • Buford

            Maybe… we’ll see.

  • fastlanestranger


  • JWC

    The GOP is desperate to discredit Mueller and the FBI its getting to close

    • customartist

      It’s a shame that both of the Presidents who will have been successfully removed due to Crime are REPUBLICAN

      • JWC

        Rosenstien Mueller and trump are all GOP

      • JWC

        says a lot don’t it

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Good luck with that scumbag.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    So basically he wants to see bars. Ok, dude!

  • Tawreos

    In 2 weeks the Trumps supporters and Fox will be saying that the courts ruled Mueller was overstepping his reach regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit. This is just another way to attack Mueller’s credibility

  • DaddyRay

    I am not sure Eric understands what the term “Deep State” means

    Eric Trump insinuates Ellen DeGeneres is part of the ‘Deep State’

    • E.J.

      Eric Trump is part of the derp state

  • Lazycrockett
    • safari

      I’m sincerely hoping it is a poptart fire.

      • Reality.Bites

        She’s burning her emails.

        • pj

          one at a time

    • Halou

      Was anyone inside at the time?

    • Bambino

      Bubba was lighting a cigar in the bed room. It’s all fine now.

  • Puckfair52

    Will a new Trump appointee hear this assertion an agree with this bag of shit

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • Halou

    How dare I be investigated for the crimes I commit!
    Law enforcement officers have no right to enforce the law!!

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Unless it involves brown people or queers, then it’s game on and guns out. Sad, but all too true.

  • Rex

    Somebody wants their name back in the news.

  • JohnJay

    Let’s see. As an example, Ken Starr’s investigation of Whitewater never strayed beyond that particular topic, did it?

    • The_Wretched

      Ken Starr was under the special investigators statute. He was largely unanswerable and unlimited. That lapsed. Mueller is legally using DOJ generic investigation and prosecution (2 powers) powers. It’s delegated federal authority.

  • Lazycrockett

    Quismodo has taken the stage.

  • The_Wretched

    Two things here..
    1. Manafort is signalling that he’s still fighting (Trump please pardon). That means he hasn’t flipped. This would be too much of an annoyance / threaten a deal were there a hidden one.

    2. Manafort’s attorney is running the Republican / Trump line / prepping Trump’s defense. “Scope of authority” matters legally and is always raisable. I’d expect essentially every character in this onion-drama to at least file a motion on it in their cases.

    • Bambino

      He at least have to pretend that he was coerced into cooperating with Mueller.

      • The_Wretched

        I guess I’m having a hard time believing things are quite that complicated. Manafort seems to think that he can leave more or less on a whim. <–that heuristic is a sufficient explanation for his actions since arrest.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Come on man

  • CPT_Doom

    “The wrong guy indicted me,” seems a very poor choice of defense, but I am not a lawyer.

  • Statistics Palin

    Just for that Mueller should call Manafort’s daughter to testify about her father’s crime as she discussed them in her text messages.

  • OUTinMinnesota


    Thanks to Mr. Manafort, it seems to be time to update the definition of “chutzpah”.

    Someone who kills his parents and then begs the court for mercy because he’s an orphan files a lawsuit against the arresting officers.

  • Buford

    This will be interesting. His suit claims that the Special Counsel only had jurisdiction to investigate the links between Trump and Russia and not the ‘also, all matters resulting from that investigation’ which led to Manafort being indicted for 2005 mis-filings that were not related to Trump or Russia.

    Legally-speaking, does this have merit?

    • The_Wretched

      Yes but it’s an exceedingly weak argument in this situation.

      • Buford

        Maybe, maybe not. If you know that it’s weak and why, please help us understand.

        • The_Wretched

          see other reply from me.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Sure. You good on the coffee? Need a refill?

          • Buford

            Coffee’s good, thanks… could use some intelligent conversation, tho…?

          • Lumpy Gaga

            Sorry we’re not up to your standards. Guess you’ll have to go elsewhere.

          • Buford

            Nah… I’ll stay here and help make things better.

    • Halou

      The same sort of argument that if the police were investigating someone for one offence but finding evidence of another unrelated offence the defendant has the right to claim that that evidence cannot be used against them in court at all because it was not relevant to the initial reason for their being investigated.
      I guess the argument does have merit because you don’t want the police ransacking your home to find proof of *anything* to arrest you for no matter how trivial or unrelated, but the severity of the issue sometimes, as in this instance, warrants a deviation from the standard procedures.

  • Bambino

    The dotard release another statement claiming Paul Manafort played no part in his campaign before and after the election. He just hand out towels in the washroom.

    • Yeah, but he’s a doolally dotard, so we shouldn’t pay much attention to anything he says.

  • Leo

    The East coast is about to have a bomb cyclone, Manafort’s saying he can’t be charged for crimes by a guy he wants assigned to other crimes and the Clintons house is on fire.

    Good afternoon everyone. Jesus Christ. Looking forward to the film in 30 years.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    O/T Meanwhile over at #Dotard’s favourite show he apparently doesn’t watch….

  • Do Something Nice


    “Outrage as Madrid chooses drag queen for traditional Three Kings parade”

    • John Davis

      Oh goody! Spain’s Catholics need to have something to get all upset over.

      • The number of people in Spain who avidly support LGBT rights far outnumbers the number of people who care what the Catholic Church thinks these days! That is why Spain is a leader in LGBT rights in the Med Region- and in Europe — and has two of the biggest Pride events (Madrid and Barcelona) in the world.

        • John Davis

          Good point, Eddi Haskell. I remember you from your friendship with Tony Cleaver on “Leave it to Beaver” (still in re-runs on some cable channel, I’m sure)… but yes, now you make a lot more sense than you did back then. I’m happy Spain is now a leader in LGBT rights. I have not yet visited there, been to other countries to the North, France, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium.

    • Three Kings Day (Epiphany) is a huge holiday in Spain, Catalonia, and the emerging new region of Tabarnia (Tarragona – Barcelona region) which plans to break away from Catalonia to rejoin Spain if they break away — it is when gifts are exchanged. This is a huge deal!

      • Do Something Nice

        Yes, I know – I went to the parade last year and may do so this year.

        FYI, there is no serious Tabarnia effort. It is a creation by the right wing to make the Catalan separatists look ridiculous, but it isn’t working.

        • Tabarnia is real. It comprises the regions of Barcelona and Tarragon that rejected Putin-backed independence. Although it might be satire (in the Dali-esque tradition), the name is a combination of the two regions that rejected Catalan independence. The two regions only voted 28% for the independence parties on December 21. (I need to get an updated map). But it seems to take a life or its own. It is not just right wingers in Catalonia who are opposing independence, many Catalans want to stay part of Spain – my friends do and are socialists. They like their counterparts (LGBT in the rest of Spain! And if any group of people enjoys comic relief it is people in Catalonia!

          • William

            Good to see that some recognize Putin’s hand in destabilizing Europe.

          • Do Something Nice

            Actually, I think the vote was higher for the two ‘pro-independence’ parties combined in Barcelona and Tarragona, but not a majority and far less than the other regions. I didn’t imply it is only right-wingers who are against independence because as you wrote, many on the left don’t support it. I think it is critical to understand those supporting independence. There are nationalists who cannot be reasoned with. But there are others, such as those who still harbor wounds from the civil war, those who cannot stand what PP is doing, and those who are easily fooled into thinking that things will magically be better if Catalunya is separate.

            I think those non-nationalists need to be listened to and addressed because every time the Spanish government does something, they seem to do the wrong thing and actually create more support for independence. And that PP lost 8 of their 11 seats should be a wake-up call.

      • Kruhn

        Actually, the Three Kings Day Parade in Madrid is akin to The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day/Rose Parade. I’m still sore with Mom for going to the much smaller parade in the suburb of Alcobendas with our relatives instead of us pulling the tourist routine and watching the big one in Madrid, a quick bus ride away. Add insult to injury Mom spent the next three days bitching about it.

        I’m glad they chose a drag queen for the Three Kings Day Parade. It shows progress in an event where Beltzazar, one of the Three Wise Men, was represented by a man in blackface.

  • Rebecca Gardner
    • djcoastermark

      Oh thank lard, he’s had some work done. much better.

    • Gianni

      I sort of thought that Eric maybe was more on the ball than daddy and Don Jr. seeing that he has managed to stay primarily in the background and not say much. Boy, was I wrong! He’s definitely inherited the Trump brain – little sense, thought, clarity, or reasoning, and much silliness, nonsense, and dumbness.

  • TexasBoy

    In other words, Sure, I did it, but YOU don’t have the necessary authority to prosecute me. Na Na Na Na Na Na.

  • gaycuckhubby

    I leave it to legal experts on this one. Every single one I have seen have said this is shockingly dumb and probably frivilous.
    Should get tossed out quickly

  • The lawsuit barely has merit and shows a staggering lack of awareness that Mueller only filed a few of the possible charges with the Grand Jury, which found enough standing to issue the indictments.

    It so happens there’s already been talk about Mueller coming back to upscale the charges and this lame-ass move just invites him to go ahead and make the direct Russian money laundering links.

    Manafort, Gates, and their attorneys appear to be unaware the opening charges were just the initial taste, intended to get Manafort and Page talking. They instead opted not to and instead to try to fight back. This will have been a bad mistake—and evidence of malpractice-level lawyering.

    • I read thru the complaint and basically it fails on two counts, hardest on the first:

      1. That Rosenstein had no authority to appoint a special prosecutor. (This is mega bullshit.)
      2. That once appointed, Mueller had no right to look at any matters preceding the campaign.

      It’s basically saying “My money laundering happened too early for this prosecutor to bring charges.”

      The absolute *best* they could hope for would not to have the charges thrown out, but merely referred to a different federal prosecutor. Meantime, Mueller will go ahead and queue up the additional upgraded charges he no doubt has ready, for crimes that did happen during the campaign. Like the sudden influx of laundered money and loans from Russian sources which kept Manafort and Gates afloat the last 24 months.

  • HZ81

    Ha!! Good luck with that, stupid.

  • MonochromeMouse

    Just because you got pulled over for the drugs in your glove box doesn’t mean they can’t arrest you for the body they find in your trunk.

  • OT: Removal of Trump via 25th amendment is heating up right now. Bush administration top Republican ethics lawyer is calling for it. Pence needs to take lead You can be sure this is happening right now — but Pence needs to be careful Trump is not listening. Newsweek report a few hours ago –

    • Wording of 25th amendment article 4- “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President”. The President can return to office only when 2/3 of the body of each chamber confirm his request to do so if the VP and cabinet oppose. Trump needs to start worrying.

  • Kevin Perez

    Manafort’s lawyers to Manafort, “You’re so guilty! The only way that you’re not going to jail forever is to challenge the authority of the prosecutors”.
    Manafort, “I’ll get more cash from Russia”.

  • Megrim Twist
  • Paula

    Sue ‘em all, Paul. Anarchy! Let me know how this works out for you.

    • Rambie

      It’s distraction and noise for the Cons to bitch and moan about

  • DaddyRay
  • gaycuckhubby

    BREAKING… Emergency responders are on scene at Hillary Clintons house in NY. Reportedly the house is on fire.

    Already Deplorables are saying its i an effort to get rid of evidence.

    No word on severity

  • Richard B

    At first, I thought, Manafort was deploying a desparate strategy, but if Manafort lawsuit gets assigned to a Trump appointed federal judge, it is worth a thought about how deep into our institutions will this Russian conspiracy go.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Shorter Paul Manafort; “You’re not the boss of me!”

    • DaddyRay

      Well sure, Putin is

  • JWC

    Fusion GP had a lot of information about Steele Trump Russia Putin reported to Chuck Grassly .Grassly said when it was properly vetted it would be shown to the public Instead it has been used by the Devon Nunes group to discredit the FBI and Mueller. Haul Grassly’s ass out and force his to produce

  • kareemachan

    Never trust anybody with a square head….

  • JCF
    • GanymedeRenard

      Wonder Woman prior to her makeover!

      • JCF

        Switched from scales to lasso. ;-/

  • Michael R

    Is he doing this on Putin’s advice ?

  • canoebum

    In case anyone has forgotten, the Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia is one Merrick Garland. Now we all know that judges are impartial, but I can’t help but think that the vicious snub of the Circuit’s Chief judge might have soured some, on some level, with regard to Republican claims of privilege. I see this filing going nowhere fast.

    • Tempus Fuggit


      • canoebum

        Thank you. Viscous too, as is all slime.

  • Mike C

    “Hey, that particular criminal activity of mine is none of your business!”

  • GanymedeRenard

    Srsly, what kind of moronic bozos are giving legal advice to these idiotic clowns?

  • BobSF_94117

    Wow, he’s really chafing under the no-drinking part of his house arrest.

  • Gianni

    Like magicians, there’s always another rabbit to pull out of the hat.

  • Gregory In Seattle

    Manafort was indicted for breaking federal law. All of the many, MANY other possible indictments he faces can be prosecuted under New York State law. So even if Trump gives him a full pardon, he can still be prosecuted under state law, beyond the reach of any presidential pardon. Mueller can, at any time, turn all of the collected evidence over to state prosecutors, and Manafort will be in prison for a long, long time.

    So, this move. If he can successfully claim that Mueller is acting beyond the scope of the law, all of the evidence that Mueller has collected will be “fruit of the poisoned tree” and cannot be admitted at trial.

    In short, Manafort is trying desperately to weasel out of the deal he made with Mueller.

  • olandp

    If you have no real defense, attack the system.

  • That’s not going to end well for inmate Manafort. At least the Federal Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado is scenic.

  • thomas

    to all you robert mueller ass kissers his days are #’d and this bogus fucking bullshit investigation is coming to close and now that gop congress is pressuring doj and fbi time to put this ex marine prick and his assholes all in prison