DOJ Approved Mueller Probe of Manafort Collusion With Russia

I guess it’s time to fire Rod Rosenstein:

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was authorized by a top Justice Department official to investigate whether Paul Manafort, the onetime chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, illegally coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, new court filings show….A partly redacted memo included in court filings late Monday night revealed that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein authorized Mueller to pursue allegations that Manafort colluded with Russia in 2016.

The new filings show that Rosenstein specifically approved lines of investigation for the special counsel in an August 2017 memo. A version of the memo filed in court showed that Rosenstein signed off on an investigation of whether Manafort “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials” and of Manafort’s work as an international political consultant in Ukraine before joining Trump’s campaign. Additional sections of the 2½-page memo were blacked out by prosecutors, indicating that Rosenstein authorized other lines of investigation that remain a secret.

My guess is that special prosecutors almost always have their requests approved, so Rosenstein’s blessing may not mean much. Still, it sure looks like Mueller has a lot of irons on the fire.

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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