Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s appointment will have “no effect” on legal work currently underway by special counsel Robert Mueller, prosecutors say.
In a court filing Monday, Mueller’s team addressed Whitaker's role in a case involving Andrew Miller, an associate of longtime Trump ally Roger Stone, The Hill reported. Whitaker was appointed after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' ouster.
Miller is fighting a subpoena to testify before the grand jury in Mueller’s Russia investigation. Mueller's team has questioned Stone's associates to try to determine if anyone in President Donald Trump’s orbit had advanced knowledge of hacked Democratic emails leaked by WikiLeaks.
“Acting Attorney General Whitaker’s designation neither alters the Special Counsel’s authority to represent the United States nor raises any jurisdictional issue,” Mueller’s team wrote in its filing, The Hill reported.
“The Special Counsel continues to exercise the same authority, and the jurisdiction of the district court and this Court is intact.”
According to The Hill, Miller is challenging the constitutionality of Mueller’s appointment, arguing he should’ve been appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate as a “principal officer,” or otherwise should have been appointed as an “inferior officer” by Sessions – not by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who’d been overseeing the probe up until Whitaker took the helm of the department earlier this month.
The argument has been tried — and failed — previously, on behalf of an organization accused of funding a Russian troll farm in its attempt to dismiss an indictment filed by Mueller’s team, The Hill reported.
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