In response to these charges, Manafort claimed that he could not be prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller because the particular charges against him are outside of Mueller's properly delegated authority.
Third, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had broad authority to "authorize the Special Counsel to investigate not only 'links and/or coordination, ' but also, 'any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.'" So even if the charges against Manafort were not sufficiently tied to Russian Federation, they could still potentially proceed under the remainder of the powers delegated to Mueller.
President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani has warned Robert Mueller that the Trump team will wage a campaign to end the Special Counsel's Russian Federation investigation on its one-year anniversary, with several plans up their sleeve.
"It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges", Jackson said.
But Berman Jackson concluded for several reasons that Mueller's investigation and prosecution of Manafort is legal - and that the special counsel still can maintain some independence while working within the Department of Justice. "The management of the investigation into the allegations against Manafort has been consistent with the objectives and requirements of the set of regulations as a whole, as well as the terms of the individual regulation upon which the defendant relies", said Jackson, a 2011 Obama appointee.
The motion also attacked Mueller's character. And Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was acting within his authority to broadly define the special counsel's authority, she said. The memo shows Rosenstein specifically authorised Mueller to investigate payments Manafort received from the Ukrainian government "before and during the tenure" of then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who was one of Manafort's clients. Her decision on Wednesday allows one of two criminal cases against Manafort to proceed.
In the Virginia courthouse, Ellis sharply questioned prosecutors about their motivations and whether they had exceeded their charging authority to pressure Manafort to turn against Trump or colleagues. It also accuses him of fraudulently obtaining millions in loans from financial institutions including while he worked for the Trump campaign.
Manafort is charged with tax and bank fraud connected to his lobbying work for the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia interests in Ukraine. Manafort has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.
That judge, T.S. Ellis, said he believed prosecutors were using the charges against Manafort to try to get him to turn against Trump.