The Justice Department has filed court documents giving special counsel Robert Mueller the authority to look into allegations of collusion between former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the Russian government, according to reports.
The court documents, which were filed Monday night, say Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote in a memo last year regarding the special counsel’s Russia probe that Mueller could investigate whether Manafort “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials,” including payments he got from the Ukrainian government when former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was in office.
In their court filing, prosecutors said they would “naturally look into any interactions they may have had before and during the campaign to plumb motives and opportunities to coordinate and to expose possible channels for surreptitious communications.”
“And prosecutors would naturally follow the money trail from Manafort’s Ukrainian consulting activities,” they wrote.
The Hill added:
The filing came after Manafort requested that a judge dismiss an indictment against him regarding activities prior to the 2016 presidential election, saying Mueller had exceeded his authority.
Manafort was indicted last year on money laundering charges and other alleged financial crimes.
Mueller is currently investigating Russian election interference and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Trump has repeatedly attacked Mueller’s investigation, calling it a “witch hunt” and “a pure hit job.”