An 27 October federal indictment accuses Mr. Manafort and a long-time associate, Rick Gates, of failing to register as agents in the U.S. for political consulting they performed for Ukraine and for pro-Russian politicians there.
Legal observers say Mr. Weissmann is playing hardball against Mr. Manafort in an effort to turn him into a prosecution witness against Trump people.
So if you're Manafort, what do you do to challenge all this abusive overreach? On August 3, a lead prosecutor told Manafort's then-lawyer that Mueller was authorized to prosecute Manafort for tax crimes committed in 2010, the lawsuit said. "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.
The suit asks that a federal judge place an injunction on Rosenstein, Mueller and the Justice Department to restrict them from performing their duties.
In the background section, the suit argues that Congress allowed the authorization for an Independent Prosecutor to lapse but that Mueller is behaving more like an Independent Prosecutor than a Special Prosecutor whose purview is more limited.
"The Appointment Order purports to grant authority to the Special Counsel to expand the scope of his investigation to new matters without the consent of - indeed, without even consulting - any politically accountable officer of the United States", Manafort's lawyers wrote.
The Mueller investigation is not only riling Trump; it is also gaining momentum with the indictment and surrender of several former Trump aids and advisers. "But in terms of legal strategy, it's highly unlikely to prevail".
Robert Mueller is out of control. It's possible that Mueller and his investigators could speed up the process by hiring more staff members, which would require those assigned to the case to undergo security clearances, according to Politico. There is no known connection between Manafort's foreign lobbying activities and the Trump campaign. The suit also argues that the investigation of Manafort is "completely unmoored from the special counsel's original jurisdiction".
A DOJ spokesperson responded with a statement, saying: "The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants".
Manafort, of Alexandria, Virginia, and Gates, of Richmond, Virginia, both turned themselves in to the FBI after being indicted by a federal grand jury, according to reports. The special counsel can be fired by the attorney general personally for "misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies". And that Manafort's latest play, in the end, is no more than needless political theater.