Instead, the executive branch - that is, the president - enacted a regulation that enables the attorney general to appoint a special counsel like Mueller.
Reacting on "America's Newsroom", the George Washington University law professor said Manafort has a "good point but a bad case". "I think it would be very hard to find anybody better qualified for this job.I believe that, based upon his reputation, his service, his patriotism, his experience with the department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he was an ideal choice for this task".
To begin with, it's pretty plainly wrong to think that Mueller has gone too far. More often than not, he'll win.
While Mueller's investigation is tasked with investigating possible collusion, it is also trying to determine whether Trump or his aides attempted to obstruct the investigation.
Manafort acknowledged in his complaint that his political consulting business in Ukraine has been of interest for years to US prosecutors. "He's going to tie a bow on this", he said of Mr. Mueller.
So if you're Manafort, what do you do to challenge all this abusive overreach?
Manafort's legal complaint seeks to overturn the indictment brought against him in October, saying that it has targeted aspects that are not linked to the investigation's official task. "Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein asked to meet with the speaker and we accommodated the request", Ryan's office told Fox News, adding that FBI Director Christopher Wray meant to meet with Ryan as well. "Indeed, the Appointment Order in effect purports to grant Mr. Mueller carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across while investigating, no matter how remote from the specific matter identified as the subject of the Appointment Order", reads Manafort's lawsuit.
"Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s***, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately", Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief political strategist, states in a new book by Michael Wolff on the Trump presidency, according to The Guardian.More news: Tattoos lead Thai police to arrest Japanese gang member
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It's an odd strategy that, for my money, is likely to result in more embarrassment for Manafort.
The criminal case is U.S. v. Manafort, 17-cr-201, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
Manafort's attorneys' wrote in their lawsuit, "The principle that government must be both limited in power and accountable to the people lies at the core of our constitutional traditions". That's only the procedural side.
Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into alleged collusion, is reportedly interested in this event because Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak was in attendance. It also accused them of conspiring to launder millions of dollars and hiding offshore bank accounts.
Admittedly those charges relate to conduct allegedly committed well before Manafort was on the Trump campaign.
While the lawyers have met with Mueller's team before and might again, the sources believed the December check-in would be significant because it came after the completion of interviews of White House personnel requested by the special counsel and after all requested documents have been turned over.
White-collar criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Jacobovitz said it is not unusual for a defendant to try to question the bounds of a special counsel.