Federal judge skeptical of the scope of the Mueller investigation

This is not a new argument provided by Manafort’s attorneys, who have previously claimed that Manafort’s business dealings are outside the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.

A partially redacted version of Rosenstein’s memo, however, showed that the Department of Justice allowed Mueller to look into the allegations that Manafort committed a “crime or crimes arising out of payments (Manafort) received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

But what stood out in the court proceedings Friday is when the judge, T.S. Ellis, a Reagan-appointee, hammered the special counsel’s office on the idea that the charges against Manafort have nothing to do with Russian election interference.

Federal judge skeptical of the scope of the Mueller investigation
Federal judge skeptical of the scope of the Mueller investigation

Ellis said that he believes the special counsel is only interested in Manafort to squeeze him for information “that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his impeachment.”

The judge said prosecutors wanted the former Trump campaign official to “sing,” but he worried that Manafort might also “compose.”

Ellis then opined that the American people do not want a special counsel with unfettered power and even went so far as to ask when the investigation would conclude.

Dreeben declined to speculate on the matter.

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