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President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort has sued Robert Mueller, alleging the special counsel's wide-ranging investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia exceeded his legal authority and needed to be reined in.
Mr Manafort's civil lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, named both Mr Mueller and Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mr Mueller in May and is tasked with overseeing the special counsel's operations.
Mr Mueller was appointed shortly after Mr Trump fired former FBI director James Comey.
Mr Comey has said he believes he was fired because Mr Trump wanted to undermine the investigation into possible collusion between the campaign and Russia.
Mr Trump has denied that his campaign colluded with Russia, although he has also said he fired Mr Comey because of "this Russia thing".
Moscow has denied meddling in the 2016 US election campaign.
The civil lawsuit accused Mr Rosenstein of exceeding his legal authority to "grant Mr Mueller carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across".
The lawsuit asked the court to have the case against Mr Manafort dismissed.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department called the lawsuit "frivolous", but added Mr Manafort was "entitled to file whatever he wants".
Mr Manafort's lawyers argued that Mr Rosenstein's order cast too wide a net for Mr Mueller's probe.
"The investigation has focused on Mr Manafort's offshore business dealings that date back to as early as 2005 — about a decade before the Trump presidential campaign launched," the lawsuit said.
A spokesman for Mr Mueller's office declined to comment.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has told Donald Trump's legal team that his office is likely to seek an interview with the US President as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and one could take place within weeks, according to US media reports.
The Washington Post and NBC News reported Mr Trump's lawyers are talking to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about a possible interview.
Citing three people familiar with the situation, NBC said lawyers for Mr Trump had met with representatives of Mr Mueller's office in late December to discuss the logistics of any such interview.
Two others, Mr Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Richard Gates, were indicted on money laundering charges but have pleaded not guilty.
Trump lawyer Ty Cobb said the White House would not comment on communications with the office of the special counsel but was continuing to cooperate fully.
Sigh... in your own time Mueller...
What about Obama's collusion with Russia on the Uranium One deal? More secret corrupt conniving from the LEFT.
US President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury in a probe into alleged ties between Russia and Mr Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, according to the New York Times.
It was the first time Mr Mueller is known to have used a subpoena against a member of Mr Trump's inner circle, the Times said.
Mr Bannon, a champion of Mr Trump's "America First" agenda, was among the Republican's closest aides during the 2016 election campaign, the presidential transition and during his first months in office.
But the pair had a bitter public falling out over comments Mr Bannon made to author Michael Wolff for his recent book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
Mr Mueller's subpoena, which was issued last week, could be a pressure tactic to induce Mr Bannon to cooperate fully with his investigation, the Times reported.
Separately on Tuesday, Mr Bannon was meeting with the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.
He was the latest high-profile figure to testify before the panel as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the US election.
Steve Bannon has refused to answer questions on his time as a Trump adviser on the advice of his lawyer, who phoned the White House during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.
The move has been labelled a "gag order", with Mr Bannon refusing to answer numerous questionsafter his lawyer relayed them in real time to the White House during the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee interview.
Separately, President Donald Trump's former chief strategist has also struck a deal to be interviewed by US special counsel Robert Mueller's team rather than appearing before a grand jury, after being subpoenaed to testify in his probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, according to CNN.
An interview with prosecutors would allow Mr Bannon to have a lawyer present during his appearance, as lawyers are not permitted in grand jury rooms.
As the House Intelligence Committee's questioning moved from Mr Trump's election campaign to Mr Bannon's time in the White House, his lawyer William Burck called with White House lawyers to ask whether his client could answer the questions.
He was told not to discuss his work on the transition to, or in, the White House.
Committee members sought answers around Mr Bannon's time working for Mr Trump, including the President's thinking when he fired FBI director James Comey, but Mr Bannon refused to answer a broad array of questions about that crucial period.
As a result the chairman, Republican Devin Nunes, issued a congressional subpoena, spokesman Jack Langer said.
A White House official said the White House counsel's office had a conversation last week with committee counsel about Mr Bannon's testimony and was told the questions were expected to be about the election campaign.
Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat, said Mr Bannon's refusal to answer questions from the panel "can't stand" and went far beyond other witnesses who have declined to answer specific questions.
He said the committee expects to have Mr Bannon return for more questioning.
"This was effectively a gag order by the White House preventing this witness from answering almost any question concerning his time in the administration and many questions even after he left the administration," Mr Schiff said.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: "As with all congressional inquiries touching upon the White House, Congress must consult with the White House prior to obtaining confidential material.
"This is part of a judicially recognised process that goes back decades."
Investigators probing potential collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign are reportedly now seeking to question the US President.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's questioning would focus on the President's decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI director James Comey, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The Post reported that Mr Trump's legal team was negotiating on the form the President's testimony could take.
The paper said Mr Trump's lawyers could ask for him to be allowed to answer some questions in person and some in a written statement.
I'm not surprised. The last thing the Trump cabinet wants is Donald speaking for himself.
US President Donald Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June, but he backed off the order after a White House lawyer threatened to resign, The New York Times has reported.
The newspaper reported Mr Trump demanded Mr Mueller's firing just weeks after the special counsel was first appointed to investigate allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
Lawyer Don McGahn said he would not deliver the order to the Justice Department, according to The Times, which cites four people familiar with the request by the President.
Mr Mueller learned of the incident in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in an inquiry into whether the President obstructed justice, the Times reported.
Amid media reports that Mr Mueller was looking into a possible obstruction case, Mr Trump argued at the time the special counsel could not be fair.
The President is reported to have said Mr Mueller could not be impartial because of a previous dispute over golf club fees that he said the special counsel owed at a Trump golf club.
Mr Trump also believed Mr Mueller he had a conflict of interest because he worked for the same law firm that was representing Mr Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and also that he had been interviewed to return as the director of the FBI the day before he was appointed as special counsel.
Now the conflict of interest is one thing - but the golf fees?
The US Justice Department has indicted three Russian companies and 13 individuals for attempting to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Between 2014 and 2016, there was a multi-pronged effort with the aim of supporting then-businessman Donald Trump and disparaging his rival Hillary Clinton, US special counsel Robert Mueller said in an indictment on Friday (local time).
The 37-page indictment described a conspiracy to disrupt the US election by people who adopted false online personas to push divisive messages, travelled to the US to collect intelligence, and staged political rallies while posing as Americans.
One of the companies, the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system, including the 2016 US presidential election," the indictment said.
"Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton," the court document said.
Mr Trump, who has previously denounced Mr Mueller's probe into whether his campaign colluded with the Kremlin as a "witch hunt", said the indictment proved his campaign was in the clear.
"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President," he wrote on Twitter.
"The results of the election were not impacted."
The indictment broadly echoed the conclusions of a January 2017 US intelligence community assessment, which found Russia had meddled in the election, and that its goals eventually included aiding Mr Trump, the Republican candidate who went on to a surprise victory over Democratic Party candidate Ms Clinton in November 2016.
"The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed."
Facebook and Twitter both declined to comment on the indictment.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the allegations were absurd.
"Thirteen people interfered in the US elections?! Thirteen against an intelligence services budget of billions? Against intelligence and counterintelligence, against the latest developments and technologies? Absurd? Yes," Ms Zakharova wrote in a post on Facebook.
One of the individuals indicted, Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, said he was not upset, state news agency RIA reported.
"The Americans are very emotional people, they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I am not at all upset that I am on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them," RIA quoted Mr Prigozhin, a businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as saying.
Mr Prigozhin, an entrepreneur from St Petersburg, has been dubbed "Putin's chef" by Russian media.
His restaurants and catering businesses have hosted the Kremlin leader's dinners with foreign dignitaries. In the more than 10 years since establishing a relationship with Mr Putin, his business has expanded to services for the military.
Mr Prigozhin's assets also include an oil trading firm that reportedly has been sending private Russian fighters to Syria.
The indictment appeared likely to provide ammunition to Democrats and others arguing for a continued aggressive probe of the matter.
The 2017 intelligence agency finding has spawned investigations into any ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Russia has denied interfering in the election, and Mr Trump has denied any collusion by his campaign.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday (local time) he had already seen evidence Russia was targeting US elections in November, when Republican control of the House of Representatives and Senate were at stake, plus a host of positions in state governments.
"Frankly, the United States is under attack," Mr Coats said at an annual hearing on worldwide threats.
Russia would try to interfere in the 2018 US midterm elections by using social media to spread propaganda and misleading reports, much as it did in the 2016 campaign, intelligence chiefs said at the hearing.
Anyone on Facebook?