A USA judge on Monday backed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the federal Russia investigation, allowing a case to proceed against a Russian company accused of helping fund a propaganda operation to sway the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor.
Point-by-point, Dabney dismantled Concord Management's attack on Mueller.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., June 21, 2017. The Russian company accused of backing a social media effort to sway voters against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed Mueller didn't have power to bring the case because he was not appointment by the President and confirmed by Congress. Mueller was appointed under the authority of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has broad power as the acting head of the Justice Department for the 2016 election probe. Nor has the Special Counsel exceeded his authority under the appointment order by investigating and prosecuting Concord [Management and Consulting].
Concord Management, which pleaded not guilty to the charges last month, is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman who was placed on a USA sanctions list earlier this year and who has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Concord Management & Consulting LLC had argued Mr. Mueller's appointment was illegal and the structure of the special counsel's office, with certain freedom and powers normal prosecutors don't have, violated the Constitution.
Friedrich dismissed the argument on Monday.
"The Special Counsel is an inferior officer because he is directed and supervised by the Acting Attorney General", Friedrich wrote, referring to Rosenstein, who took over the Russian Federation investigation after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump heightens attacks on Sessions: He's "scared stiff and missing in action" Houston-area Mexican restaurant responds to backlash for serving Sessions, slams family separations Trump threatens to "get involved" in watchdog group's efforts to obtain McCabe text messages MORE recused himself. They wrote that he was not appointed by the president to be a "principal officer" and there was "no statutory authorization" allowing Rosenstein to appoint Mueller as an inferior officer.