Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is suing the Department of Justice and special counsel Robert Mueller in an attempt to kneecap the federal probe into alleged coordination between the campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. In a court filing on Wednesday, lawyers for Manafort argue that the order establishing Mueller’s investigation is overly broad and not permitted under Justice Department regulations. Mueller should be ordered to stop investigating any of Manafort’s conduct that doesn’t relate to his time as campaign chair, the suit says, and the appointment itself should be declared invalid.
“By ignoring the boundaries of the jurisdiction granted to the Special Counsel in the Appointment Order, Mr. Mueller acted beyond the scope of his authority. Mr. Mueller’s actions must be set aside,” the filing states.
Manafort, whom Mueller is prosecuting on tax fraud and money laundering charges, is also suing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who issued the order in May appointing Mueller as special counsel.
That appointment, according to Manafort’s lawyers, was “arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance” with a law governing the implementation of federal regulations — in this case, the regulation that allows for the appointment of a special counsel.