Manafort Seeks Dismissal Of Charges Because Mueller Is Only Supposed To Look For Trump-Related Crimes

Talking Points Memo reports:

Paul Manafort on Wednesday night asked the judge overseeing his case in Washington, D.C., to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment against him, arguing that Mueller did not have the authority to bring charges. This is Manafort’s second attempt to throw out Mueller’s indictment in Washington, D.C. — Manafort’s lawyers filed a civil lawsuit in January against Mueller, the Justice Department and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, claiming that Mueller overstepped his authority by indicting Manafort.

In the complaint filed Wednesday night, Manafort’s lawyers note that when Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel, he gave Mueller the authority to “investigate any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” Manafort’s lawyer’s argue that Rosenstein did not have the authority to grant Mueller the broad authority to investigate any matter that arises from the probe.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Desperate much?

  • Counting the days until Mannie here is put into a cell with a BIG guy named JoJo.

  • Pollos Hermanos

    “I didn’t murder that hooker for Trump, you can’t arrest me for that”.

  • PickyPecker
  • another_steve

    It’s all connected. A typical crime syndicate.

    Russia. Collusion. Obstruction of justice. Financial crimes. Influence peddling.

    Mueller knows that.

    • Thorn Spike

      Manafort knows it, too. He built a career on it.

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    So u didnt commit or are guilty of high crimes if u werent supposed to be investigated in the first place?
    Republican logic

    • boatboy_srq

      If a Rethug does it, it’s not illegal.


      • Todd20036

        From their point of view, that isn’t sarcasm

        • boatboy_srq

          Well past time they learned different.

    • Uncle Mark

      Funny…Republicans didn’t object when the White Water investigation turned into a tawdry investigation of oral in the Oval Office

    • Buford

      Was Kenneth Starr only looking for Whitewater-related blowjobs…?

  • Pucks yer Mackd

    Yeah the police are at your house looking only for marijuana and you have five bodies lying around and they can’t arrest you for that?

    Ok Mr. Defendant in a murder trial!

    • Lumpy Gaga

      “But your Honor, I’m the drug dealer!”

  • bkmn

    I have a feeling that what he is charged with is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • another_steve

      Observers have been noting how absolutely leak-proof Mueller’s investigation has been. We the public find out what’s going on exactly when Mueller and his team determine it’s time for us to find out.

      Indeed, we’ve seen only the tip of the iceberg.

      • Lizard

        Gee, it’s almost like leaks don’t happen as often among professionals who have a sense of duty and loyalty.

        I don’t suppose the head of the leakiest WH in history has heard of this phenomenon?

        • another_steve

          Imagine for a moment what it must be like to be Donald Trump in the White House today. Knowing that people all around you are leaking stuff to the press. Damaging stuff.

          A living hell.

          Exactly what Trump deserves.

          • popebuck1

            Not to mention knowing that at least two or three members of the inner circle have probably been wearing a wire for the past year or more.

          • another_steve

            That’s a great point, popebuck.

            We can’t be certain, but it’s quite possible Mueller has been able to convince the courts that outfitting White House staff with wires is needed/appropriate.

  • kelven

    A pitiful distraction. Manafort knows as well as anyone paying attention Mueller has plenty connecting him to the Dotard’s treason, he just hasn’t been charged with it yet.

  • Natty Enquirer
  • Tatonka
  • Friday’s_cat

    Too bad for Pauly Two Monitors there’s the Clinton precedent. Ken Starr took Whitewater off on a fishing expedition with republican approval.

  • Tulle Christensen

    “Manafort’s lawyer’s argue that Rosenstein did not have the authority to grant Mueller the broad authority to investigate any matter that arises from the probe.”

    So the second in command at the DOJ cannot authorize investigations? Can any lawyers explain the legal reasoning here because I am in the does not compute relm

    • The_Wretched

      Manafort’s argument is utterly legally bs. It’s not a valid defense in any way except one.

      If you’re planning on politics getting you off the hook, you need a fig leaf of an argument, some fig leaf, any fig leaf. This filing is the equivalent of asking a court to get rid of the case for political reasons. The substance of the beg is irrelevant for this type of action.

    • KarenAtFOH

      And since Sessions recused himself, he was in a sense first in command.

  • Lumpy Gaga


  • Lizard

    He must be shitting his pants.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      “Hey, does that really work?” — PM

    • Rex

      You should see his dry cleaning bill.

      • teeveedub

        All those expensive and yet utterly tasteless suits being soiled. Sad!

    • evanedwards

      He’s going full Nugent.

      • bearLvrFL

        I *hate* when that happens!

      • Rambie

        Is that the disgusting filling in a 3 Musketeers bar? 😉

        • Uncle Mark

          I first saw it that way, too. (Time to clean the reading glasses.)

          • Rambie

            Nugget / Nugent both are disgusting either way

        • JCF

          Hey! Loves me a 3 Musketeer bar. Damn, now I want one…

          • Rambie

            Sorry, my mom loved em too but I couldn’t get into them. But a Snickers on the other hand…

          • JCF

            Ew, no, no Snickers. You can have ’em. Give me a 3 Musketeers or a Milky Way.

          • Rambie

            Deal, your Snickers for my 3 Musketeers and/or Milky Way

  • evanedwards

    But’cha rrrrrrrrrrr a Trump-related crime, Paul, ya rrrrrrrrrr.

    • another_steve

      All my life I’ve tried to emulate that scene of Bette’s. One of her best.

      The facial expressions. The body language. The spoken words.

      For a gay man, all state of the art.

      • misterjack

        Hahaha! What’s that line from ‘The Boys in the Band’?

        “What’s more tired than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?”

        “A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation.” 😉

  • Kevin Perez

    When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.

  • Lazycrockett

    Ahh how cute.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Too bad traitor !

  • Boreal
  • Rex

    Thoughts and prayers, Paul, thoughts and prayers.

  • Steverino

    The only way a gambit like this would fly would be if the judge is one of those glorified burger-flippers Trump and the Senate confirmed to the bench simply because they passed the Heritage Foundation ideological purity test.

  • Ninja0980

    Bill Clinton and Whitewater say hello.

  • Macbill
  • Ragnar Lothbrok
    • Boreal

      These RWnuts are all freaks. WTF?

    • Paula

      This guy doesn’t deserve a trial. This level of evil needs a bullet. An autistic teenager? WTF?

    • Bambino

      Must be one of them 100% pure white superior gene.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      The Master Face

    • William

      Feed his balls to hogs.

      • Michael White

        while still attached

    • Reality.Bites

      A Canadian immigrant? Why won’t they just come out and say Ted Cruz /s

  • The_Wretched

    Single person defendants don’t really have an “ultra vires” defense against special councils. Mueller is using delegated DOJ power and if the DOJ could sue Manafort for money laundering and such, so can Mueller. This is a ludicrous defense move and will go nowhere.

  • Jalapeño Business

    Mueller did not have authority you say? Well then…

  • Bambino

    Hey Manafort! You are 68 and looking at 300 years of prison sentence. But lucky you there is a fire sale on sentencing right now. You can get up to 90% discount! Call and confess right now! If you call the next hour, you get matching prison outfit of your choice! Hurry!

    • Bad Tom

      Manafort will only be 98 when his sentence expires!
      Better than 368.

  • Boreal

    Slightly OT:
    Possible Russian trolls try to register for Texas Democratic convention

    • William

      Amanda Hugginkiss is such a tool.

      • Rillion

        Someone found her? I’ve been looking for Amanda Hugginkiss forever!

  • Lakeview Bob

    Yes just like Bill Clinton was impeached over a blowjob. Sorry you sanctimonious asshole but you are going down.

    • Friday

      Yeah, one that hadn’t actually *happened* when the ‘investigation’ was started by people …who were cheating on their wives all along.

      • Todd20036

        Which is why Gingrich had to resign, and Livingston took over… until his hard drive revealed kiddie porn

        • coram nobis

          Succeeded later by Denny “Wanna Wrestle?” Hastert.

          • The_Wretched

            hrmmm, it’s almost like a trend with those old white men with power…

    • Tulle Christensen

      He was impeach for lying about a blowjob

      • Todd20036

        He shouldn’t have been asked about it in the first place. ANd you can bet, they would have impeached him anyway

        • coram nobis

          And that brings us back to Manafort’s mealy-mouthed excuse. Clinton’s prosecutors were after a blow job but wound up with perjury. You take what you can get.

      • Lakeview Bob

        And I bet you have never heard of the Wjhitewater investigation have you? They were so desperate to get something on Clinton that they asked him about a blowjob. That was not the point of the investigation. Yes Clinton lied ….

        ah shit. You will never understand. Forget it.

  • Paula

    Nice try, white meat. Your days are numbered.

    • Boreal

      Looks a bit orangey. Perhaps he pulled his head out of something that color.

    • JaniceInToronto

      OOOhhhh!! White Meat.

      Good one.

  • Tulle Christensen
    • evanedwards

      Smart, legal, and delightfully tricky. That could be the ticket.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Been hearin’ that for a year.

  • Smokey

    Ok. So Mueller just turns his information over to another agency or DA that can indict and prosecute.

  • BeaverTales

    Manafort’s lawyer’s argue that Rosenstein did not have the authority to grant Mueller the broad authority to investigate any matter that arises from the probe.

    Kenneth Starr is reading this and laughing his ass off on a beach somewhere, with poor underage 3rd world girls mixing him umbrella drinks while changing his diapers and sucking his toes..


      You went three words to far, I’ll try lunch again tomorrow, I guess.

      • Bad Tom

        Think of it as a short, involuntary, diet.

  • Friday

    Trying to get off of treason and other charges by… Trying to weasel a technicality out of some manufactured ambiguity in an order?

    • evanedwards

      It’s laughable; it falls squarely in Rosenstein’s purview to grant Mueller’s investigation any discretion he sees fit.

  • teeveedub

    I’ve just received an advance copy of the complete text of the response from the court:


    • Lumpy Gaga

      Sassy Judge says “Bye Girl, bye!”

  • BumbaFromWakumba

    OT: Former liberal now alt-right mega-tool Dave Rubin ludicrously claims that Richard Grenell had to resign from the 2012 Romney campaign because “the media decided to ATTACK an openly gay man for daring to work for the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, thus causing Richard to step down from the campaign” (and not because Bryan Fischer and other wingnuts went nuts):

  • Jim Maloney

    These do not appear to be the actions of an innocent man.

  • DisqusD37
  • William

    Wait until the Ukrainians ask for his extradition. Manafort will be begging to stay in a nice comfy US prison.

    • Canadian Observer

      What a wonderful idea – I think I should include it on my fantasy wish list… of course it still falls below seeing Henry Kissinger facing extradition to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and/or Chile.

      • William

        Or Bush and Cheney on trial in The Hague.

        • Canadian Observer

          Come sit over here with me, we can compare lists.

          • William

            As long as we can include Mrs. Jones, my high school algebra teacher. I’ll dig her up if I have to.

  • coram nobis

    I see. So if Mr. Mueller caught Manafort conducting a bank holdup or violating the Mann Act, the prosecutor and former FBI agent would have no authority to arrest him.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Manafort’s been watching a lot of “Sovereign Citizen” technique YouTubes while stuck at home.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Is Mueller a sworn officer of the peace?

      • Scout

        Citizen’s arrest?

      • coram nobis

        I have the impression a prosecutor can bring charges. As for his LE credentials, I don’t know if he still has status as a special agent.

      • The_Wretched

        lawyers aren’t cops.

  • matrem

    O/T and terrifying and likely the end of our democratic republic. At which point the only way to take back the country will likely be by actual Revolution.

    • coram nobis

      That rumor has been out there a day or two. Just a rumor, but … why do I hear background music from “Jaws”?

    • Wisterley

      I’ve been seeing that for a couple of days. I wonder who dreamed up that scheme? If it does happen I expect the Republicans to do nothing and for Eric Schneiderman to show up at Jared’s, John Jr, Eric’s, and maybe Trump’s door (next time he’s in NYC) at 4 am the next morning with warrants for arrest.

    • The_Wretched

      Remember that Kristol writes what he wants reality to be. I know he’s a never-trumper but I can’t forget that primary rubric for understanding him.

  • JWC

    Manaforts lament “If only I had flipped on Donny”

  • Michael R
    • Wisterley

      Oh great, I’m trying to take part in a tax seminar here and you go post Judy Tenuta. And we both know what that means. Now I have to open youtube and watch whatever they got. It could happen!

  • whollyfool
  • justmeeeee

    Come on, Paul. All you have to do is sing like a canary and make sure el cheeto dies in prison, and you can go back to your life of luxury with our blessing.

    • KarenAtFOH

      Well, for a week or two, anyway. Until uncle Vlad pays a visit…

  • Halou

    So, a hypothetical. When the cops catch someone for possessing a packet of weed and get a warrant to search their house for more, do the cops have the authority to then prosecute the person for 2,300-plus images of child pornography and a bloody knife? Or does that shit have to be thrown out for not being relevant to the original case?

    Of course Mueller has the legitimate authority to prosecute Manafort, and/or be in contact with the relevant state prosecutors.

    • Tomcat

      No judge would give a warrant to search house on just one small packet of weed found on a person.

      • Barry S G

        I’m not so sure of that. We could reasonably assume that any judge whom Jeff Sessions would approve of would be willing.

  • Tomcat

    If only it were that easy everyone would be just as sleazy as you Man-fart.

  • Halou

    Next thing you know Manafort will be demanding the FBI allow him to be an equal partner in the investigation, insisting the FBI divulge all their sources and methods in the interests of cooperation.

    Yeah, that’s a reference to Russia’s shameful reaction to the Salisbury poisoning.

    • The_Wretched

      I’m pretty sure the attorneys from the Trump affiliates have been trying to use discovery to find out what evidence and plans Mueller has on hand. Not only for their clients but also to take to Trump and friends.

      • Halou

        Evidence has to be shared at trial anyway, it is the way that evidence is collected that the Trump klan is after.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • Charlie In SF

    He can ask Susan McDougal how that works

  • Tempus Fuggit

    “Um, no, officer, you may not give me tickets for 50 over the limit the wrong way on a one-way street through three red lights while drunk with an open container and a bag of meth in my lap; you’re Highway Patrol—says so right on yer car—and this Is a boulevard.”

  • -M-

    A) That’s not how it works.

    B) Even if it was Pauly, after decades as a pro-Putin lobbyist you were working on the campaign, influencing policy and campaign activities, while in deep debt to a Russian Oligarch who is very unhappy with you. So it’s all connected.

  • RainbowPhoenix

    That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

  • The Milkman

    I’m sure he said the same thing when Ken Starr was sifting through Bill Clinton’s life. Totally consistent.

  • Karl Dubhe

    Bwa hahahahahahahhhahahahhahahah

    Sure, honey. That’s the argument to go with.

    I’m offended that such a bunch of idiots were able to fuck the USA’s government so badly while suffering from such stupidity.

  • Galvestonian

    He’s desperate and that can be a justification for all kinds of behavior. That alone is the raw material of drastic change. He’s getting ready to bolt and may leave behind everything he has ever believed in or owned in a hope to escape. All what he is doing now is just chaff, a smokescreen. The luggage is packed.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    When is Manafort going to declare himself his own country?

    • northern_neighbour

      He is a PIRATE, flying a Liberian Flag on his ‘dirty coastal steamer’ …a tub of rusted immoral rivets and inside stringers bent to avoid any hint of rectitude or loyalty.

      On the great grey green SEA of MONEY he has been a law to himself and knows no native land! Ergo a man without a nation, and possibly that way for 305 years!

      (With a tip of the hat to John Masefield, British poet who penned ‘CARGOES’.)

  • Richard

    This must be some box that needs to be checked. Does Manafort’s lawyers really think the judge will throw out tax evasion charges and who know what other criminality ? I don’t see that happening.

    • Itsatarp

      They have to at least make it look like they are doing their due diligence. They know it stands a snowball’s chance in hell, but it’s part of the job.

  • geoffalnutt

    Yes, well…facing 300 years in la slammer – tends to make one anxious.

  • Hank

    The Russians, Ukrainians AND the Turks will get you, if Mueller does not!!!
    You like Jared and Herr Drumpf are OWNED by them!!!

  • ClevelandJim


  • MBear


  • Robert

    perhaps you should go to England so the Russians can poison your traitor skank ass?

  • Gianni

    So Mueller is only supposed to pick the rock up, but not investigate what scurries out from under it? Sounds like he’s trying to legally split a hair. I smell desperation.

  • JCF
  • narutomania

    This was just supposed to be a routine traffic stop for a taillight that isn’t working! You weren’t supposed to find the dead body in the trunk or the bags of heroine in my glove compartment!!

    So i’m not guilty of those crimes.


  • drlarrymitchell

    Dumber than shit.

  • Ann Kah