A federal judge is questioning the scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s authority in an important hearing that could have major consequences for the investigation that was supposed to be focused on alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
The fact this issue is even being discussed is a major win for President Trump.
According to Politico:
“A federal judge raised doubts Thursday about the scope of the order used to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller to probe alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
During a two-and-a-half hour hearing in one of Mueller’s criminal cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson questioned whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s directive appointing Mueller granted him more authority than Justice Department regulations appear to permit.
Manafort’s lead defense attorney, Kevin Downing, noted that the May 17 order appointing Mueller grants him authority to pursue the Trump-Russia probe as well as other issues that “may arise” from that investigation. Downing said that was at odds with Justice’s rules, which say a special counsel must be told of the “specific factual matter” in his or her mandate.”