Judge T.S. Ellis, III for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that charges for bank fraud and tax evasion against former campaign manager for US President Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, can proceed.
Manafort challenged [JURIST report] his indictment in June, arguing that Special Counsel exceeded its authority.
Ellis refused to dismiss the charges, finding that the Special Counsel had the authority to investigate and prosecute those linked with the alleged crimes, but that his ruling:
[S]hould not be read as approval of the practice of appointing special counsel to prosecute cases of alleged high-level misconduct. Here, we have a prosecution of a campaign official, not a government official, for acts that occurred well before the Presidential election. To be sure, it is plausible, indeed ultimately persuasive here, to argue that the investigation and prosecution has some relevance to the election…But in the end, that fact does not warrant dismissal of the Superseding Indictment.
In June, lawyers for Manafort filed an appeal [JURIST report] requesting a federal appeals court to review an order [JURIST report] by District Judge Arm Berman Jackson of the US District Court for the District of Columbia that requires him to be detained in jail while he awaits trial on several felony charges. Manafort was charged [JURIST report] in October with conspiracy to launder money, making false statements, conspiracy against the US and other charges.