Late Monday night, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team responded to Paul Manafort’s attempt to dismiss the charges he is facing.
The response comes as Manafort’s lawyers tried to argue the charges are beyond Mueller’s authority. However, in the response, Mueller explained why he has the authority to charge Manafort. He also seemed to sneak a warning message to Trump in the footnote.
The footnote reads:
“The Special Counsel also has “the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses” … Those authorities are not at issue here.”
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The footnote can be perceived in a couple different ways.
The first is that Mueller is refuting any arguments that Manafort’s lawyer is making about how Mueller doesn’t have authority to bring charges. It can also be seen as a reminder that Mueller’s team can investigate false statements, any efforts to obstruct justice or to intimidate any witnesses. In other words, it’s Mueller’s way of saying that he will finish the investigation no matter who gets in the way, including the president.
As of Tuesday, in regard to Mueller’s probe, Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who lied to federal investigators, has been sentenced to 30 days in prison. Van der Zwaan was also ordered to pay $20,000 in fines. This could also be seen as a warning to Trump and anyone else who plans on lying to Mueller.
Below are some reactions:
Mueller is one smart cookie. He’s got all the bases covered for any objection to whatever he finds out during his investigation. https://t.co/SDnuEp4UUw
— Ladywolf (@NorskLadyWolf) April 3, 2018
The footnote even reminds anyone interested (*cough* Trump *cough*) that Mueller can not only investigate these matters, but “conduct appeals”. This isn’t going away. Mueller means business.
You can read Mueller’s 53-page response to Manafort here,
— DCPetterson (@dcpetterson) April 3, 2018
— Julia C. Reinhart (@juliacreinhart) April 3, 2018
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