A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday against an associate of Trump confidant Roger Stone who had challenged a grand jury subpoena issued by the special counsel’s office.
Andrew Miller has waged a months-long constitutional challenge of the subpoena, arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller was illegally appointed to office. A federal judge had slapped Miller with contempt of court charges for resisting the grand jury appearance.
Miller, 34, has worked sporadically for Stone for a decade, working as a driver and personal aide for the GOP operative. Mueller indicted Stone on Jan. 24 on seven counts, most of which are related to testimony he gave in 2017 to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (RELATED: Roger Stone Indicted In Mueller Probe)
Mueller has investigated whether Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release Clinton campaign emails.
Miller’s lawyers claimed that Mueller’s investigation was illegal because he had not been appointed to office by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel on May 17, 2017 because Sessions had recused himself from all Russia-related matters.
U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell slapped Miller with the contempt charges on Aug. 10, 2018, but later stayed the case until it could be heard by an appeals court.
“We hold that Miller’s challenge to the appointment of the Special Counsel fails. Accordingly, we affirm the order finding Miller in civil contempt,” reads the appeals court’s decision.
Miller must now either appear before the Mueller grand jury or face jail time for refusing to testify. His attorneys have previously indicated that Miller will cooperate with the investigation rather than go to jail.
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