Another attempt to dismantle Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible conspiracy between the Russian government and the campaign of President Donald Trump has been thwarted--this time by a Trump-appointed judge. Federal District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled against Concord Management and Consulting, a Russian company under scrutiny for alleged efforts to sway American votes through deceptive social media platforms.
Concord Management and Consulting attempted to argue that the Special Counsel's case did not have standing in court because Robert Mueller was not appointed by the president or confirmed by a legislative body.
Friedrich wrote in his decision:
The appointment does not violate core separation-of-powers principles. Nor has the Special Counsel exceeded his authority under the appointment order by investigating and prosecuting Concord.
Judge Friedrich's ruling cited three judges close to other cases related to the Special Counsel: Judge Amy Berman Jackson (presiding over Paul Manafort's foreign lobbying case in D.C.), T.S. Ellis (presiding over Manafort's tax fraud case in Virginia) and DC District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who squashed an attempt by a former aide of Roger Stone to refuse a subpoena.
The ruling bolsters the legitimacy of the Special Counsel's investigation in the face of numerous attempts to discredit it.
Many Americans on Twitter are rejoicing.
The ruling comes at a crucial time when the Trump administration and its allies are escalating the fight to close the investigation.
Donald Trump's head lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been making frequent rounds calling for the investigation to come to an abrupt close, recently stating that if the investigation proceeds past September, it would be in violation of a 60-day rule.
In reality, no such rule exists. While it is the custom of the United States Justice Department to refrain from going public with developments in ongoing investigations that might affect the outcome of an election, it is hardly a firm rule and one that does not mandate the cessation of an investigation all together.
However, many seem confident that Mueller is at least one step ahead of Trump's and his allies' attempts to halt the investigation.
Soon, the Trump team and the Special Counsel will sit down with Trump for an interview or it's possible Robert Mueller will make the bold choice to subpoena the president for questioning, resulting in a political showdown of epic proportions. Either way, it seems like both sides are gearing up for an investigation that, despite the Trump administration's efforts, won't be ending anytime soon.