Landing the latest legal blow to President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, a federal judge Friday threw out Paul Manafort’s civil suit against the Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the special counsel Robert Mueller.
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Manafort had used the civil suit to challenge the criminal case against him by arguing that Rosenstein and Mueller had exceeded their authority to investigate and charge him.
Manafort, 69, has been indicted in two criminal cases by the special counsel related to charges of money laundering and tax evasion, among other things.
In her memorandum opinion, filed Friday morning, Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote that “a civil case is not the appropriate vehicle for taking issue with what a prosecutor has done in the past or where he might be headed in the future.”
“Therefore, the Court finds that this civil complaint must be dismissed,” Jackson said.
Manafort’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, alleged that Rosenstein’s order appointing Mueller exceeded his authority under Justice Department regulations and was therefore “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and otherwise not in accordance with the law.”
The suit accused Mueller of exceeding his authority by “ignoring the boundaries of the jurisdiction granted to the Special Counsel in the Appointment Order” and asked the court to set aside the actions of the special counsel and declare Mueller outside of his legal authority.
The Justice Department and special counsel’s office declined to comment.
Manafort’s jury trial before Jackson is set to begin Sept. 17; his trial in a federal court in Virginia is on track to start in just three months.
Manafort, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted in either case.
ABC News’ Jack Date contributed reporting