Federal Judge Rejects Manafort's Attempt To Invalidate Criminal Charges

By: Kayla Pasacreta

Paul Manafort, photo via  EPA

Paul Manafort, photo via EPA

Today, Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected Paul Manafort's request to dismiss the criminal charges against him. Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, tried to argue that the criminal and fraud charges prosecuted by special counsel Mueller are invalid, too broad, and should be dismissed. 

Judge Berman disagreed, stating that the indictment is valid because of Manafort's heavy association with both the Trump Campaign and Russian figures closely linked to the Russian Government, "falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel that Manafort finds unobjectionable,". In Berman's opinion statement, she stated, "It bears emphasizing at this stage that Manafort is presumed to be innocent of these charges, and it will be the prosecution's burden to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But the indictment will not be dismissed, and the matter will proceed to trial." She continued, "Who had connections to the Russian government? Who attended meetings on behalf of the campaign?" 

Manafort's trial is set to take place in Washington D.C. this September. His separate trial relating to his fraud charges will begin in July.