WASHINGTON (CN) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s authority to continue his investigation will not be affected by recent changes at the Department of Justice, according to a deputy solicitor general.
In a 17-page brief filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben – who represents Mueller – said President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general on Nov. 7 has “no effect on this case.”
The case Dreeben referred to is an ongoing legal challenge to Mueller’s appointment by Andrew Miller, a onetime associate of longtime Trump ally Roger Stone.
Miller was subpoenaed by the Mueller team this year but has so far refused to testify before a grand jury despite an order from a trial judge directing him to do so. Miller was held in contempt and appealed his case to the D.C. Circuit, where Monday’s brief was filed.
According to Miller, Mueller cannot subpoena him lawfully because the special counsel was not Senate-confirmed or appointed by the president.
“The special counsel continues to exercise the same authority and the jurisdiction of the district court, and this court is intact,” Dreeben wrote, adding that any new claims by Miller would be “better addressed” to a federal judge where a record can be developed, parties can testify and a decision can be made.
“Nothing in this case warrants a departure from standard procedure,” Dreeben wrote.