U.S. judge holds Donald Trump adviser Stone's ex-aide in contempt

Mark Wilson  Getty Images North America

Mark Wilson Getty Images North America

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. He also served as an adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, but left amid controversy in 2015.

Miller is a longtime associate of Stone and worked on Kristin Davis' campaign when the so-called "Manhattan Madam" unsuccessfully ran for governor of NY in 2010. CNN first reported the subpoena.

In a closed hearing Friday in a Washington, DC, district court, Judge Beryl Howell found Miller in contempt and then stayed that ruling until this Monday to allow for an appeal to be filed.

Sources told ABC News last month that Mueller's team was pushing for more information on whether Stone communicated with hackers who targeted DNC computers. Stone said that he was "highly confident she will testify truthfully if called upon to do so".

Stone, who has denied any wrongdoing, has previously said that eight of his associates have been contacted by Mueller but that the special counsel's team has not contacted him.

An associate of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone has been held in contempt of court after refusing to appear before a grand jury in the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

Miller's lawyer in June said he would seek to quash the subpoena.

For procedural reasons, Kamenar said, Miller needed to be held in contempt in order to initiate the appeal.

In addition to Miller, John Kakanis, described as a personal assistant to Stone, along with social media expert Jason Sullivan, were subpoenaed by the special counsel over the spring.

The move also spotlighted a growing focus by Mueller on Stone.

Stone may figure prominently in a major case Mueller brought last month against 12 Russian military intelligence officers who he accused of hacking into the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic opponent, and releasing tens of thousands of private communications in a sweeping Kremlin-orchestrated conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election.

Kamenar also said a prosecutor with powers as broad as Mueller's should be treated like a US attorney and be subject to Senate confirmation.

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