On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote a brief memoappointing Robert Mueller as special counsel and authorizing him to investigate alleged Trump-Russia "links and/or coordination" -- and "any matters that...may arise directly from the investigation."
It was a vague memo, giving Mueller's investigation wide latitude.
But three months later, on August 2, Rosenstein wrote a second, classified memo that has just been released in a batch of court filings by the special counsel’s team.
In that August 2 memo, Rosenstein says his May 17 order “was worded categorically in order to permit its public release without confirming specific investigations involving specific individuals.”
Rosenstein said his August 2 memorandum “provides a more specific description of your (Mueller’s) authority. The following allegations were within the scope of the Investigation at the time of your appointment and are within the scope of the Order.”
The unredacted part of Rosenstein's August 2 memo authorizes Mueller to investigate allegations that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, “commited a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials” and “commited a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”
Much of the August 2 memo is redacted, until the end, where Rosenstein tells Mueller:
“You therefore have authority to continue and complete the investigation of those matters…”
As Fox News noted, Rosenstein’s August 2 memorandum specifically authorizing Mueller to investigate Paul Manafort's financial dealings came one week after the FBI’s July 26 predawn raid on Manafort’s home, where the FBI reportedly seized Manafort's bank records and tax documents. So Manafort was already under investigation for his Ukraine connections and financial dealings when Rosenstein issued his specific authorization to Mueller on Aug. 2.
In a court filing last week, Manafort's attorneys moved to dismiss Mueller's superseding indictment against Manafort, arguing that the special counsel has gone way beyond the authorization contained in...Read More HERE