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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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