Shutdown wouldn’t stall Mueller probe
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation would continue in the event of a government shutdown, a Justice Department spokesman confirmed to The Hill.
All employees with the special counsel’s office would be exempt from furlough, which is the case for employees whose paychecks do not come from annual appropriations.
This is different from employees excepted for furlough because their work is considered essential, such as members of the military.
“All employees with the Special Counsel’s Office are considered exempt and would continue their operations in the case of a lapse in appropriations,” Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said.
CNN was first to report that Mueller’s investigation would continue even if the federal government were to shut down.
Mueller, appointed special counsel last May, is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there was collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
Congress faces a Friday, Jan. 19 deadline to pass a bill to fund the government and avert shutdown. If they do not, much of the government would shut down, closing national parks and monuments and keeping thousands of workers home.
GOP leaders in the House late Tuesday pitched the idea of a short-term funding bill which includes appropriations for six years of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in order to incentivize some Democrats to vote for the legislation.
Disagreements over a deal to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have increased the threat of a shutdown in recent days.
Some Democrats say they will not back a short-term spending measure that does not provide shelter to the immigrants covered by DACA, many of whom could face deportation beginning in March.