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Judge raises doubts about scope of Mueller’s authority

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posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 10:37 PM
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Judge raises doubts about scope of Mueller’s authority


A federal judge raised doubts Thursday about the scope of the order used to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller to probe alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

During a two-and-a-half hour hearing in one of Mueller’s criminal cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson questioned whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s directive appointing Mueller granted him more authority than Justice Department regulations appear to permit.


click link for article...

It seems to be a busy news day regarding everything Russia investigation. Apparently Manafort's lawyers scored some points with the judge in his case reference Mueller's authority and the legality of it. She did not issue a ruling as of yet, and people are speculating they dont think Manaforts legal argument will be enough to get over the hurdle. However the judge has not yet ruled on the motion so who knows.

Either way the legal argument was enough that it did get the judge to question Nueller's authority in court.


Manafort’s lead defense attorney, Kevin Downing, noted that the May 17 order appointing Mueller grants him authority to pursue the Trump-Russia probe as well as other issues that “may arise” from that investigation. Downing said that was at odds with Justice’s rules, which say a special counsel must be told of the “specific factual matter” in his or her mandate.

“That’s a fair point,” Jackson said, adding later: “I don’t think that, as good as he is, that the deputy attorney general can see into the future.”


The governments argument is a criminal defendant nor the public at large has any authority to enforce internal DOJ policies / procedures. An interesting argument since it appears to concede Manaforts point about the government violating its own policies. Manafort's team also argued the expansion of Mueller's authority violated the SC requirements. The government argued that the authority granted to Mueller regarding Manafort's case was an extension of the original authorization letter and not a new one.
edit on 19-4-2018 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 10:54 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra


If Manafort broke the law, and that fact arose during Mueller's investigation, he should be prosecuted for the crime. Do you think Mueller should have ignored it, or referred the evidence of a crime that he found to another jurisdiction?



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:01 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Good find! Another reason for Rosenstein or somebody to start reeling Mueller in.



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:03 PM
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originally posted by: Sookiechacha
a reply to: Xcathdra


If Manafort broke the law, and that fact arose during Mueller's investigation, he should be prosecuted for the crime. Do you think Mueller should have ignored it, or referred the evidence of a crime that he found to another jurisdiction?



If they procecuted all people in DC who broke a law, we wouldn't have one government employee or congressman there.



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:04 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

well now
some here said manaforts motion would be struck down quickly.......



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:08 PM
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originally posted by: Sookiechacha
a reply to: Xcathdra


If Manafort broke the law, and that fact arose during Mueller's investigation, he should be prosecuted for the crime. Do you think Mueller should have ignored it, or referred the evidence of a crime that he found to another jurisdiction?



The issue is did Mueller even have the authority to investigate it and did Rosenstein exceed his authority and violate DOJ policies by authorizing it.

In these types of cases the concern is did the governments actions violate the suspects constitutional rights. If the government did then the redress lies within the judge dismissing all charges with prejudice, preventing the government from refiling charges.

If Manafort broke the law then he should be held accountable. However, the government has a lot of powerful tools in their belt when it comes to criminal investigations. There should be no reason, if the government is doing its job correctly, the government cant lawfully obtain evidence to build a solid case against Manafort.

To me, protection of constitutional rights and holding government accountable for oversteps is more important than sending someone to prison. If we look the other way in a criminal prosecution then what is to prevent it in another prosecution? At what point does it become ok for the government to act as they see fit outside the law simply because someone possibly violated the law?

Investigations and prosecutions are important however preservation of constitutional rights and government accountability are what allows everything to occur, including investigations and prosecutions.
edit on 19-4-2018 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:14 PM
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Interesting. I like to hear a judge that is that involved in the discussion no matter what the ultimate decision turns out to be.

Things are breaking out all over. I have a feeling the dam is about to burst.

On a related note as regards the Mueller investigation I'm also reminded of Flynn's sentencing being put off and Contreras' (friend of Strzok's) recusal. Interesting times.



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:22 PM
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a reply to: The GUT

lots of information today
most of it good!



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:42 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra


Mueller was given the task of investigating the Russian involvement in the US election, and Manafort was low hanging fruit. While investigating a target, if other crimes surface, what is a detective supposed to do, ignore the other crimes, or refer them to someone else?

I mean, that was Mueller's directive, right? To investigate one issue, and any issue that arises in discovery during the investigation. How is that different from what any law enforcement detective would do?

When a cop stops someone for speeding, if they think something else is also going, they can act on their suspicion. I don't see how Mueller is any different.



posted on Apr, 19 2018 @ 11:58 PM
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President Trump indicates tonight that he might bring Muellers witch hunt to an end.

thehill.com...

Maybe tomorrow will be the day that a CNN or MSNBC hater has a stroke on the air?



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 04:32 AM
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a reply to: Sookiechacha

Mueller is not a cop. Hes a special prosecutor. You are missing that key point.

There are rules. And they were broken. So which law matters more? The one Manafort allegedly broke, or one that the DOJ seems to concede they broke? With the DOJ there are 330mil victims. How many victims did Manafort have?



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 08:39 AM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan


What rules did Mueller's team break?



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 09:30 AM
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originally posted by: Sookiechacha
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan


What rules did Mueller's team break?


The special counsel statute requires a specific crime be the basis of the investigation and a conflict of interest must exist within the DOJ. "Collusion", which is listed on Rosensteins memo authorizing the SC, is not a crime in the federal body of law (criminal).

Muellers jurisdiction is "original jurisdiction" only, meaning he can only investigate matters related directly to Trump Russia collusion. Manafort and the others being charged have no direct or indirect link to Trump Russia collusion. They are financial crimes from all the way back to like 2005. In order for Mueller to investigate those crimes, he had to be granted additional jurisdiction by Rosenstein. Rosenstein drafted a secret memo authorizing the investigations by granting "additional jurisdiction" (28 CFR 600.4(B)) but in doing so he again violated the SC statute and DOJ policies.

A specific crime must be present and listed in the authorization to meet the SC statute.

The issue revolves around the broad nature of Rosensteins memo where he listed any additional crimes that may arise from the investigation. The authorizing memo specifically grants "original jurisdiction" only. It never specifically authorized the "additional jurisdiction" that was needed to actually investigate crimes not directly connect to Trump Russia collusion.

Because the additional jurisdiction was never granted in the first memo establishing the SC, Mueller had no authority to begin investigations into Manafort or anyone else for financial crimes unrelated to Russia Trump collusion. The 2nd secret memo granting additional jurisdiction is a lot like asking for a warrant after already conducting an illegal search.

That is why the judge commented on Rosenstein being good but not good enough to predict the future. You have to have a specific crime first in order to lawfully investigate it. You cant go investigating a person in hopes of finding a crime.

Hopefully this makes sense.

ETA - Here is the jurisdiction breakdown. Rosenstein authorized A only. After Mueller found the crimes with Manafort et al, Rosenstein then went back and authorized section B (additional jurisdiction). It was done after the fact which means Mueller didnt have the authority to investigate in the first place.


28 CFR § 600.4 Jurisdiction.

(a)Original jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall be established by the Attorney General. The Special Counsel will be provided with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; and to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.

(b)Additional jurisdiction. If in the course of his or her investigation the Special Counsel concludes that additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his or her original jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General, who will determine whether to include the additional matters within the Special Counsel's jurisdiction or assign them elsewhere.

(c)Civil and administrative jurisdiction. If in the course of his or her investigation the Special Counsel determines that administrative remedies, civil sanctions or other governmental action outside the criminal justice system might be appropriate, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General with respect to the appropriate component to take any necessary action. A Special Counsel shall not have civil or administrative authority unless specifically granted such jurisdiction by the Attorney General.


This is also why I have issues with Cohens charges in the SDNY. The referral came from Mueller and the warrant to seize privileged documents was signed off on by the ADSDNY and Rosenstein. That seizure went beyond the scope of the warrant. The FBI seized every document they came across, which is a no no.
edit on 20-4-2018 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-4-2018 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 09:44 AM
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originally posted by: Sookiechacha
a reply to: Xcathdra


If Manafort broke the law, and that fact arose during Mueller's investigation, he should be prosecuted for the crime. Do you think Mueller should have ignored it, or referred the evidence of a crime that he found to another jurisdiction?

But that's not really how it works...if you prosecute someone from evidence obtained illegally (which could be a reality if Mueller's investigation exceeds the legal scope allowed), then generally that case is a mistrial and the charges get dismissed. That's why so many laws and procedures exist around the gathering of evidence--it's that whole 4th-Amendment thing.

Of course, that's all generally speaking--the devil would lie in the details of each individual case.



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 11:22 AM
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So when is judge going to rule on the scope of Mueller's investigation, as it relates to Manafort's objection?



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 11:24 AM
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originally posted by: Sookiechacha
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan


What rules did Mueller's team break?


Its Rosenstein, who issued an order for a Special Prosecutor that did not meet the scope/standards required for such issuance.

In other words, Mueller has been working under an unlawful order.

Or,s o the argument goes anyway.



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 11:38 AM
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Let us know when she does issue a ruling otherwise she's just expressed an opinion.



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Is getting him off from answering for his crimes important to you?



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 11:54 AM
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a reply to: carewemust

He did discover that Manafort committed crimes. Do you think he should just get away with them now because I can't even think what because Mueller shouldn't have discovered them? Because he still did launder money. You paid your taxes while he thumbed his nose at you for being a fool. That's just groovy man. Cuz ....trump...shrugs.....
But scream about justice and locking her up.
What ever...



posted on Apr, 20 2018 @ 11:57 AM
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originally posted by: Sillyolme
a reply to: Xcathdra

Is getting him off from answering for his crimes important to you?


Nope and if you bothered to actually read my responses you would know this.

If the government violates a person constitutional rights the remedy is to deny the government the prosecution and to dismiss charges with prejudice. For someone who claims to have worked closely with lawyers you sure are clueless.

Constitutional protections are more important than a prosecution, regardless if they have an R, D or I after their name.



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