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A Washington, D.C. federal judge on Friday refused Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss a money laundering count against him, in yet another legal setback for the former Trump campaign chairman.

Manafort, who was jailed last week to await two federal criminal trials after his bail was revoked for alleged witness tampering, has repeatedly sought to throw out the charges and suppress the evidence against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s Friday ruling marks his latest failure to convince her to do so.

This bit of legal wrangling involves Manafort’s alleged money laundering, which Mueller’s team contends “promote[d]” his failure to comply with the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) for lobbying he did on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.

Manafort’s attorneys contended that it is a crime only to fail to register as a foreign agent under FARA, not to act as one. Therefore, they argued, channeling proceeds he earned from his overseas lobbying work was irrelevant to the alleged violation at hand.

Not so, the judge ruled.

“While defendant is correct that FARA does not prohibit being a foreign agent, undertaking activities on behalf of a foreign client, or ‘acting’ as a foreign agent per se, it is illegal to act as an undisclosed foreign agent,” she wrote in her decision.

Jackson also pointed out that language in the 2001 Patriot Act specifically allows for individuals who violate FARA to be prosecuted for money laundering offenses.

“These laws are not just about paperwork,” her ruling concludes. “Their object is to ensure that no person acts to advance the interests of a foreign government or principal within the United States unless the public has been properly notified of his or her allegiance.”

In the D.C. trial, scheduled to start in mid-September, Manafort faces charges of money laundering, tax evasion, and failure to disclose his foreign lobbying. Manafort also faces charges of making false statements on tax returns, failure to report foreign bank accounts, and bank fraud in a separate trial in Virginia set for late July. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to both indictments.

Read Jackson’s full ruling below.

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s request for the suppression of evidence obtained in a search of his storage unit in Virginia last year was denied by a federal judge in Washington, D.C. Thursday.

Manafort had tried to challenge the search on the grounds that the employee that allowed an FBI investigator into the storage unit in May 2017 was no longer working for Manafort’s international consulting firm that did the Ukraine lobbying work that is central to the case. The agent entered the unit, having been let in by the employee, on May 26, and observed the types of containers in the unit and their labels. The government then successfully sought a search warrant the next day, and seized various materials in the unit.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller — in a court filing Thursday that both highlighted and disputed some of the media coverage his case against former Trump campign chairman Paul Manafort has attracted — requested that jurors in the trial scheduled next month in Virginia fill out written jury questionnaires to ensure “that this case is tried before an impartial jury.”

“The nature and scope of the publicity surrounding this matter raises a substantial danger that potential jurors may already have formed opinions about the defendant’s guilt or innocence, may have developed views about the Special Counsel’s investigation, or may otherwise be affected in their ability to consider the case impartially,” Mueller told the court.

His filing cited media reports that were critical of Mueller as well as those critical of Manafort.

A footnote disputed reports that the FBI’s July 2017 raid on Manafort’s home in Virginia was a no-knock search.

The footnote also highlighted a remark made by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson at Manafort’s pretrial detention hearing in a separate case in Washington last week, in which she scolded journalists for reporting that an unredacted court document published mistakenly to the court docket by a court employee was a purposeful leak by Mueller.

“The reporting, at times inaccurately, comments on the nature of the evidence collected in the case or activities of the parties,” Mueller said in Thursday’s filing.

Mueller’s proposed questionnaire asks many standard questions about a potential juror’s background, as well as questions tailored to the allegations in the case, including questions about a potential juror’s ties to Ukraine.

Manafort has been charged in Virginia with bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to report foreign bank accounts. He’s also facing charges in D.C. pertaining to alleged money laundering and failure to disclose lobbying work he did on behalf Ukraine. He’s pleaded not guilty in both cases.

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Clicking a register-to-vote link on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s website leads users to a page of instructions that include a voter restriction struck down by a federal judge Monday, potentially putting Kobach in violation of the judge’s order.

In striking down the 2011 law requiring proof-of-citizenship for voter registration, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ordered Kobach to “ensure that all elections-
related public education materials (including but not limited to voter-aimed notices and websites, in all languages in which those documents are available, including English and Spanish) make clear that voter registration applicants need not provide DPOC in order to become registered to vote, and need not provide any additional information in order to complete their voter registration applications.”

After a day and a half of confusion, when county clerks were continuing to enforce the requirement in some circumstances while awaiting instructions from Kobach, his office sent them guidance Wednesday afternoon telling them to review their websites for any “any reference to a voter registration applicant being required to provide documentary proof of citizenship” and to remove those references “until you can post updated instructions and information to the public.”

As of Thursday morning, it appears the Kansas Secretary of State was not following his own directions.

Other references to the law remain live on the website as well.

His office did not return TPM’s inquiry, but had said previously that it plans to appeal Robinson’s decision to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Robinson, a George W. Bush-appointee, temporarily blocked enforcement of the proof-of-citizenship requirement on the federal form, used at DMVs and available online, in March of 2016 while the case was awaiting trial, on the grounds that allegations that it was a violation of the National Voter Registration Act were likely to succeed.

Her decision Monday, handed down after a seven-day trial this spring, said that the requirement was also a violation of the U.S. Constitution, meaning Kobach could not enforce it on the state voter registration form as well. The link on his website Thursday morning was to the state registration form.

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After two days of confusion — with some but not all county election officials enforcing a Kansas voting restriction struck down by a federal judge Monday — the Kansas Secretary of State’s office instructed local officials Wednesday that proof-of-citizenship was not required to register to vote.

The instructions marked the end — or at least a pause — in a years-long saga of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach fighting tooth and nail to keep his signature voter restriction alive, despite multiple court rulings against it.

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Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the publisher of the National Inquirer as part of their probe into Michael Cohen’s business dealings, including the hush money payments he brokered with women who claimed to have slept with Donald Trump.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that officials in the Southern District of New York want information from American Media Inc. about the $150,000 August 2016 payment they made to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal to catch-and-kill a story about her alleged affair with the President.

Specifically, prosecutors are searching for evidence that Cohen coordinated with American Media to negotiate this arrangement, sources familiar with the matter told the Journal.

In a statement to the newspaper, AMI said: “American Media Inc., has, and will continue to, comply with any and all requests that do not jeopardize or violate its protected sources or materials pursuant to our first amendment rights.”

Both Cohen and Trump are close friends with AMI chairman and CEO David Pecker. A “person familiar with the matter” told the Journal that phone records showed frequent contact between Cohen and Pecker at the time the deal with McDougal was being negotiated.

Prosecutors are also looking into the $130,000 payment Cohen brokered to adult film star Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election to keep her from speaking publicly about her alleged sexual liaison with Trump.

Cohen is under investigation for possible campaign finance violations, bank fraud, and other financial crimes.

This post has been updated.

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Missouri’s Republican secretary of state used a Senate Rules Committee hearing on preventing future election interference to claim that “voter fraud is an exponentially greater threat than hacking of our election equipment,” comments that earned a stiff rebuke from a Senate Democrat on the committee.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s opening statement stressed that there was no evidence hackers altered any votes or voter registration information during the 2016 election, and that state officials were the ones who alerted the federal government of possible cyber-intrusions.

“This is not to say that our elections were perfect, that there was no fraud, that there were no unlawful corruption of votes or vote totals. The evidence indicates that voter fraud is an exponentially greater threat than hacking of our election equipment,” he said.

He then brought up 2010 Missouri state House race that was decided by one vote, where it was later found that two voters — relatives of the winner — had committed voter fraud.

(Ashcroft did not mention the type of fraud committed: the two voters pleaded guilty to claiming Kansas City addresses so they could vote in it. It’s unlikely that a voter ID law, which was in place in the state at the time, and proof-of-citizenship voter registration requirements would have stopped such an act.)

“Moving forward, any meaningful enhancement to election security must take a comprehensive approach to ensure that every legally registered voter is allowed to vote and their vote is not diluted by any sort of voter fraud, malfeasance or ineptitude,” Ashcroft said.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who was the first Democrat to question Ashcroft and the other witnesses, immediately zeroed in on Ashcroft’s remarks. Durbin asked that Ashcroft and the other election officials on the panel report the number of convictions of voter fraud that have occurred out of the total number of votes cast over the last decade to the committee after the hearing.

“The statement, Secretary Aschcroft, that you made has to be addressed for the record,” Durbin said, referring to the claim that voter fraud was an “exponentially” greater threat than hacking.

Durbin brought up that his state’s voter registration system had been infiltrated by hackers, and that they had the capability of to muck with voters’ registration information. It they had, it would have created a “chaotic situation” at polling places, resulting in “hundreds of thousands” of provisional ballots cast, Durbin said.

“I don’t know how that would have ended. They didn’t do it. Thank goodness they didn’t. But the threat was there,” Durbin said. “I can count on both hands the cases of voter fraud in the state of Illinois in the last several elections cycles, and the convictions even fewer.”

“When it comes to this hacking, it is exponentially greater threat to our voting system than voter fraud,” Durbin added.

Corrected: This post has been corrected to reflect that Sen. Dick Durbin represents Illinois.

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Michael Cohen has hired a veteran trial lawyer to represent him in the Southern District of New York’s criminal investigation into his financial dealings.

Both Vanity Fair and CNN reported Tuesday that President Trump’s longtime fixer has retained Guy Petrillo, former head of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Cohen is currently deciding whether to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating him for bank fraud, campaign finance violations, and other possible financial crimes.

Petrillo did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.

Reports surfaced last week that Cohen would part ways with his team at McDermott, Will and Emery for an attorney better acquainted with the office that is prosecuting him. A trio of McDermott lawyers lead by Stephen Ryan oversaw a privilege review of hundreds of thousands of documents seized from Cohen’s premises in April.

The New York Times reported that the break was due in part to issues related to Cohen’s payment of Ryan’s legal bills.

Ryan’s reported replacement, Petrillo, served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1990 to 1997 and then spent a decade in private practice at Dechert LLP. Petrillo returned to the U.S. attorney’s office as chief of the criminal division from 2008 through 2009 before co-founding a white-shoe law firm focused on representing individuals under criminal investigation.

Per the website of his firm, Petrillo Klein & Boxer, he is “regularly engaged by clients in criminal and civil matters prosecuted by the Department Justice.”

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The former Senate Intelligence committee official charged with lying to FBI agents probing media leaks is seeking a gag order prohibiting President Trump, the Justice Department and other parties involved in the case from publicly opining on the allegations.

A court document filed by attorneys for James Wolfe — who, until recently, served as Senate Intel’s director of security — pointed to comments made by Trump after the Justice Department announced the charges it was bringing against the one-time staffer.

Wolfe has not been charged with leaking classified information — only with making false statements to the FBI, some of which concerning whether he disclosed nonpublic information to reporters.

Wolfe’s attorneys took issue with Trump remarks in which he said that the Justice Department “caught a leaker” and that, “You cannot leak classified information.”

Wolfe’s attorneys also pointed to statement from John Demers, a top national security official at the Justice Department, when the charges were announced that said that Wolfe’s alleged false statements “concern the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and confidential information.”

“Mr. Wolfe’s Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury and the presumption of innocence have been jeopardized by presidential comments about the merits of the case (“caught a leaker”) and highly prejudicial insinuations – straying far from the language and substance of the Indictment and echoed by the Justice Department – that Mr. Wolfe leaked classified information,” the  court filing said.

Wolfe’s attorneys said the “narrow” gag order was necessary, because, “Absent relief from this Court, there is no reason to expect that President Trump will cease making public statements about Mr. Wolfe and this case.”

The proposed order Wolfe’s attorneys offer U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson refers explicitly to the President:

After Wolfe’s attorneys filed the proposal,  Jackson issued an order requesting that Wolfe’s attorneys and the Justice Department present to her by Monday a briefing schedule for the proposed gag order,

Read Wolfe’s attorneys motion below:

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Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed on Tuesday that he did not receive leaked information from an active FBI agent that the bureau would reopen its Hillary Clinton email investigation in October 2016.

Giuliani said that he and former FBI agents knew “by instinct that the New York office was enraged by what Comey had done,” when he was asked on Fox Business Network about his advanced knowledge about the reopening of the Clinton probe.

“I never got a leaked information from any FBI agent,” he said. “I haven’t talked to an on-duty FBI agent, except for background checks, in a couple years. That information he’s talking about came from retired FBI agents who were speculating about what was going to go on.”

In an interview with Giuliani Tuesday morning, Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo showed him video of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asking Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz Monday about Giuliani’s prior knowledge that former FBI Director James Comey would re-open the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Feinstein was referring to a comment Giuliani made before Comey announced that the probe was re-opened that “we’ve got a couple of surprises left.”

After asserting on Tuesday he was never leaked information from an FBI agent, Giuliani said “we knew it would blow up,” referring to himself and former FBI agents he’d spoken to.

“We knew it would blow up. We knew just by instinct that the New York office was enraged by what Comey had done,” he said. “Now you can see that we were right with the Horowitz report. What I was talking about in terms of ‘surprise,’ was a speech we were preparing for the President to give, on the Friday before the election, like Ronald Reagan did. We were going to probably buy it the day before, go on national television, and we were going to hit Hillary on all that stuff, I was as surprised as anyone.”

“The FBI investigated it, closed it, and I showed them documentary evidence of what I am saying,” he added. “Shame on them for not reading their report.”

Giuliani said in November 2016 that he heard about the newly discovered emails that prompted the FBI to re-open its Clinton probe from a “former FBI agent.” In his comments Tuesday, Giuliani reiterated that he spoke with former FBI agents about the matter and introduced the new claim that the former agents were merely speculating.

The comments made by Giuliani in October 2016 are under renewed scrutiny after the Justice Department inspector general’s report revealed that top FBI officials believed that “a fear of leaks influenced the thinking of those who were advising [Comey]” at the time he announced the re-opening of the investigation. Comey acknowledged to the IG that he “consoled” himself that “it would have come out anyway.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Friday that “good FBI agents” brought to his attention that a laptop from disgraced former former Rep. Anthony Weiner contained emails belonging to Hillary Clinton. Though the emails ultimately proved irrelevant to the probe of Clinton’s private server, the laptop was the basis for the re-opening of the investigation just days before Election Day.

Nunes said the House Intelligence Committee “had that,” referring to information about the laptop, but the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), said Sunday that Nunes didn’t share the FBI agents’ tip with him.

Watch below:

H/t the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake.

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