Appeals court rejects challenge to Mueller's appointment


WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel after his authority was challenged by a witness who had refused to appear before a grand jury related to the Russia investigation.

The case was brought by Andrew Miller, an aide to longtime Trump campaign adviser and confidant Roger Stone. Prosecutors wanted Miller to testify as part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Miller’s attorneys claimed Mueller’s appointment was unconstitutional, making the grand jury subpoena invalid. They argued that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not have the authority to appoint Mueller to lead the investigation.

The court found that Rosenstein was authorized to appoint Mueller because he technically became head of the Justice Department — for the Russia probe — after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation. The opinion by a three-judge panel was written by Judge Judith Rogers, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton.

Four separate federal judges have upheld Mueller’s appointment.

North Dakota Republican Killed in Plane Crash, Along with His Wife and 2 Kids

A federal judge ordered Miller to be jailed in August for contempt for refusing to testify, but the order was put on hold while he pursued an appeal.

In a statement, Miller’s attorney Paul Kamenar said he was disappointed with Tuesday’s ruling and was considering appealing to the full appellate court or the Supreme Court.

Kamenar noted that the court took longer to rule on Miller’s appeal than it did on another challenge to a grand jury subpoena. That one, by an unidentified foreign corporation, is now before the Supreme Court.

“The fact that the court took over three months to decide this appeal after oral argument compared to the three days it took in December to decide another challenge to a Mueller subpoena issued to an unnamed foreign corporation, demonstrates that this was a serious and substantial challenge,” he said.

Stone was arrested last month and has pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to Congress, engaged in witness tampering and obstruction. The charges stem from conversations he had during the campaign about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released material stolen from Democratic groups, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

After Stone’s indictment, Kamenar said prosecutors still want Miller to appear before a grand jury as part of the investigation.


Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.


CBS Reporter Can't Help But Notice Hunter Biden's Change in Demeanor During Court

Read the ruling:


Read AP’s coverage of the Russia probe:

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City