In a video editorial Tuesday, New York Times Editorial Board writer Jesse Wegman criticized President Trump for attacking the integrity of former FBI Director Jim Comey, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because Trump is "least law-abiding president we've ever had".
Manafort has alleged in court that Mueller's office overstepped its authority by charging him with crimes related to his work before the 2016 campaign.
Earlier Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Rosenstein told Trump that he was not being targeted in the wider Mueller probe.
Separately, President Trump's in-house counsel Ty Cobb said that no firings are now under consideration, including Rosenstein or Mueller. The Special Counsel's Office filed a copy of an August 2 memo from Rosenstein to Mueller that identified several subjects related to Manafort as being under Mueller's authority, but Downing said that didn't resolve the question of whether the original appointment was valid. The investigation, he said, is "hopefully coming to an end".
The disclosure by US prosecutors came Thursday during a hearing on whether Mueller exceeded his authority in indicting Manafort on charges of laundering millions of dollars while acting as an unregistered agent of the Ukrainian government.
The meetings with Rosenstein and related DOJ document requests come as Trump has expressed frustration with the Russian Federation investigation, the recent FBI raid on his personal lawyer Michael Cohen's home and office, and the ongoing legal proceedings in NY. In most criminal cases, the government doesn't take assets at the start, but the assets are subject to a pretrial restraining order that limits how they can be used.
During a hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson questioned Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing and his reading of Department of Justice guidelines governing Mueller's investigation involving Russian Federation and the 2016 U.S. election.
Asked about the possible firing of Rosenstein or Mueller on Wednesday, Trump dismissed the speculation. "There has to be a record", Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, said Thursday. "And they're still here", he said.
"It is not a blank check", Dreeben said of Rosenstein's parameters for the probe. Dreeben also pushed back on Downing's arguments in favor of access to any other records about what Rosenstein told Mueller about his authority - it would be "extraordinary" to allow the curtain to be pulled back on the internal workings of a criminal investigation, he said. Five have pleaded guilty, including Rick Gates, a former Trump deputy campaign chairman and longtime business associate of Manafort.
The hearing gives Manafort a chance to seek dismissal of charges in an indictment against him in Washington before the case can go to trial in September.