It was on May 17th, 2017 that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ordered the creation of a special counsel with Robert Mueller as its head. The counsel was authorized to act essentially as a counterintelligence operation, with authorization to investigate alleged Trump/Russia “links and/or coordination” — and “any matters that…may arise directly from the investigation.”

Months later, on August 2nd, Rosenstein wrote a second memo – this one classified. It wasn’t until this week that it was released by the special counsel’s team, among other of their court filings.

The unredacted part of Rosenstein’s August 2 memo authorizes Mueller to investigate allegations that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials” and “committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

Large parts of the August memo are redacted until the end, where Rosenstein tells Mueller: “You, therefore, have authority to continue and complete the investigation of those matters…”

And there’s one big problem with the date on the memo.

According to the Western Journal:

The secret memo authorizing the investigation was written days after the former Trump campaign chairman’s home was raided.

Manafort’s attorneys are arguing the special counsel was not granted the authority to indict their client since his alleged crimes were not directly connected to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In a statement this week, Mueller insisted that the move fell squarely within the scope of his investigation, providing both documentation from his initial appointment and a subsequent memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as evidence.

Rosenstein’s memo was dated August 2, but Manafort’s home was raided seven days prior to July 26. This certainly makes it look like the DOJ was trying to justify their actions after the fact.

Do you think Mueller was out to get Manafort from day one? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! 

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