Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington against the Justice Department, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller alleging that the three entities have exceeded their authority.
Manafort was indicted in October on charges related to his lobbying work on behalf of a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party.
It comes amid Republican allegations of partisan bias among members of Mueller's team, which for months has been investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the USA election.
A Justice Department statement dismissed the lawsuit as "frivolous", but also acknowledged that Manafort can sue whoever he wants.
Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, filed a lawsuit against the man who brought an indictment against him past year as part of the ongoing investigation into Trump's alleged ties to Russian Federation.
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When Rosenstein appointed Mueller, he authorized the special counsel to investigate "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". The Manafort lawyers say that goes beyond what the law allows Rosenstein to empower Mueller to do.
For a defendant to sue the people prosecuting him is "not typical", according to Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who is now at the law firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., and who said he had not reviewed the Manafort complaint.
"Those alleged dealings had no connection whatsoever to the 2016 presidential election or even to Donald Trump".
Both men have pleaded not guilty.
The legal action represents a new tack in a broader effort by supporters of the president to push back on the special counsel.