Federal judge appointed by Trump rejects challenge to Mueller's authority

Federal judge appointed by Trump rejects challenge to Mueller's authority

U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, a 2017 appointee of President Trump to the District of Columbia, was the latest trial-level judge - including ones appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents - to cast doubt on arguments advanced by conservative legal thinkers led by Northwestern law professor Steven G. Calabresi about the validity of Mueller's appointment.

The ruling came in a challenge brought by a Russian firm accused of funding an Internet trolling operation that targeted us voters in 2016.

A federal district judge who was appointed by President Donald Trump has upheld Robert Mueller's appointment and constitutional authority in the special counsel's case against Russian social media propagandists.

The company, among 13 Russians and three Kremlin firms indicted by prosecutors, argued that Mueller was appointed unlawfully by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who took over the Russia investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself past year.

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Concord has pleaded innocent to charges that it conspired to obstruct the 2016 USA election by funding a coordinated social media propaganda campaign run by Russia's Internet Research Agency.

Friedrich said Mueller was an inferior officer because he was removable at will and the DOJ could rewrite regulations that don't allow the acting attorney general to revoke certain decisions by the special counsel.

"Congress vested the Acting Attorney General with the power to appoint the Special Counsel", Friedrich added, saying past federal court rulings, including by the Supreme Court, have made clear that authority "even though no statute explicitly authorizes" it. She also cited judges presiding over other cases related to Mueller's Russian Federation investigation to back up her decision. That witness, Andrew Miller, has been held in contempt of the court and now may appeal.

"In the championship chess match that is the Russian Federation imbroglio, President Trump and the White House are hoping that Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has stumbled into what players call "time trouble", says NPR. The firm filed a motion in June asking the judge in the case to toss the indictment because the appointment of Mueller - who was authorized to investigate any crimes related to Russian interference in the 2016 election - was supposedly unlawful.

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