Mueller investigation will not stall in government shutdown

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election will continue unimpeded despite the partial government shutdown that went into effect at midnight Friday. 

The special counsel’s office is “funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown,” a Justice Department spokesman told The Hill. 

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Lawmakers in Congress remained in a standoff Friday afternoon over $5 billion in funds for President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE’s border wall, raising the odds of a partial government shutdown at the midnight deadline. 

Congress failed to meet the midnight deadline on Friday to reach an agreement to fund numerous federal agencies, resulting in a partial shutdown.

The shutdown will affect a slew of government agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Justice and Treasury. More than 380,000 federal employees will be furloughed, meaning they will be placed on temporary leave without pay.

Mueller’s investigation is run out of the Justice Department, but the special counsel has the independent authority and powers of a U.S. attorney. Mueller has been investigating Russian election interference and potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow for roughly 19 months.

Trump has consistently lambasted the investigation as a “witch hunt,” triggering speculation he may try to shut down the probe.

Mueller’s investigation was not impacted by past government shutdowns.

Updated at 1:58 p.m.