An associate of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone's was held in contempt of court Friday in a fresh attempt to challenge Robert Mueller's appointment as the special counsel investigating Trump campaign contacts with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign.The move also spotlighted a growing focus by Mueller on Stone.
The grand jury is connected to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates. She made the contempt ruling Friday after a closed hearing in Washington.
"There's been no authority, we say, that gives the Justice Department the power to appoint Mr. Mueller", Kamenar told reporters outside the courthouse in Washington after Miller was held in contempt for refusing to appear before the grand jury. Mueller's team has spent months questioning witnesses about Stone, including Stone's associates.
She has known Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, for a decade.
Miller served briefly as an assistant to Stone during the 2016 presidential campaign, reportedly handling media interviews. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hopes to have President Donald Trump's nominee confirmed to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy before the new court session begins October 1.
Miller's legal team will also argue that Mueller's power as an independent counsel "is so vast", and his supervision "is so minimal" that he should have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, said Kamenar.
But Mueller's subpoena of Miller and other Stone associates recently suggests he is now focusing on whether Stone may have had knowledge in advance about the damaging leaks of Democratic documents that Guccifer provided to Wikileaks in the months running up to the November 2016 presidential election. At least nine people associated with Stone have been contacted by the special counsel.
Miller plans to appeal.
Had the judge not issued the stay, Miller could have been jailed until he agreed to testify before the grand jury and provide the subpoenaed documents. "I am highly confident she will testify truthfully is called to do so".