An attorney for Andrew Miller, an associate of President Trump’s former campaign adviser Roger Stone, filed a brief in federal appeals court early Wednesday challenging Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.
Filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the brief by Mr. Miller’s attorney questioned Mr. Mueller’s authority — in light of Mr. Miller being held in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the special counsel’s office as part of its investigation into the 2016 race.
“In sum, the purported appointment of the Special Counsel violated the Appointments Clause because the Special Counsel was required to be appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and not Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein,” Paul Kamenar argued in the brief.
A former FBI director, Mr. Mueller was picked to lead the bureau’s probe into the 2016 election after Mr. Trump fired his successor, James B. Comey, last May, roughly two months after Mr. Sessions, a former Trump campaign surrogate, vowed to recuse himself from any investigative matters related to the race.
“While General Sessions may have recused himself from a certain investigation, he cannot divest himself of or delegate his constitutional duty to appoint the investigator,” Mr. Kamenar argued in the brief.
A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.
Mr. Miller is an acquaintance of Mr. Stone, a longtime Republican strategist who worked on the 2016 Trump campaign, and was originally subpoenaed to testify before the special counsel’s grand jury in June. He unsuccessfully challenged the subpoena in D.C. federal court, and Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell subsequently held him in contempt pending appeal for failing to appear.
The D.C. Court of Appeals has given Mr. Mueller’s office until Sept. 28 to file its own brief in the matter.
Mr. Stone, 66, admitted being in touch with an internet persona known as Guccifer 2.0 and claimed to be in contact with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange during the 2016 race.
Guccifer 2.0 and Mr. Assange’s website both leaked internal Democratic documents in the lead up to Election Day, and U.S. officials have determined that the disclosures consisted of material sourced by Russian state-sponsored hackers, including several Russian military officers previously charged by Mr. Mueller’s office.
“No evidence or proof or testimony to the contrary,” Mr. Stone said in a caption accompanying a photograph of himself outside an ice cream store. “Enough with your fake news bull[expletive].”
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