Manafort challenges his indictment in Russian Federation probe by filing lawsuit against Mueller

Prosecutors propose May 14 trial date for Manafort, Gates

Trump has denied that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation, although he has also said he fired Comey because of "this Russian Federation thing".

A long-time Washington political consultant, he was recruited to head Trump's presidential campaign in June 2016 but stepped down two months later after allegations surfaced from Kiev that he had been paid more than US$12 million, (RM48 million) by Yanukovych's party.

Mr. Manafort asked a federal judge to reject Mr. Mueller's appointment as overly broad and to dismiss the indictment against him. 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.

The silhouette of Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump.

Mueller's office declined to comment.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said while the lawsuit was "frivolous", Manafort was "entitled to file whatever he wants". Both Manafort and Gates have argued not liable and are planned to show up again under the steady gaze of the judge in the criminal case on January 16. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to the position of special counsel looking into the Trump campaign's alleged dealings with Russian Federation back in May. But it also authorizes Mueller to probe "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

The case faces an uphill climb because Mr. Rosenstein has said publicly that he has specifically approved every significant step that Mr. Mueller has taken in the investigation. And on Wednesday, Trump almost blew the weird coiffure off the top of his surgically-repaired hairline when former trusted confidante Steve Bannon made several explosive claims in a new book about the campaign and operations within the White House.

"It's a circular argument", he said.

Mr. Manafort was indicted by The Mueller's Team in October on money laundering and tax charges, along with his business associate Rick Gates. They both pleaded not guilty.

The Manafort suit asserts the administration disclosed to Manafort he was an observer in the examination. Although some of Manafort's actions as campaign chair have been scrutinized under that lens, notably a June 2016 meeting he participated in along with Russian lobbyist Natalia Veselnitskaya, none of the crimes that Manafort have been accused of pertain to his work with the Trump campaign. During the interview, Mr. Manafort provided a detailed explanation of his activities in Ukraine, including his frequent contact with a number of previous U.S. Ambassadors in Kyiv and his efforts to further U.S. objectives in Ukraine on their behalf. Around then, the Justice Department revealed to him they were working with Ukraine to find stolen resources and concentrated on a previous Ukrainian president, as per the protestation.

Mr. Downing said no laundering occurred; Mr. Manafort simply transferred funds from his Cypress account to American accounts, which are fully traceable by the Treasury Department.

The lawsuit also includes new information on the scope of Mueller's probe: In August, the Mueller prosecutors issued more than 100 subpoenas related to Manafort, the lawsuit alleges. In fact, no one - not Mr. Thomas, not Mr. Trump, not Trump's lawyers, not anyone in Congress, has a clue what proof Mr. Mueller has.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Jan 3 to discuss the demand, Reuters reports.

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