Mueller says powers still intact amid DOJ overhaul

Robert Mueller’s top attorney said Monday that the special counsel’s investigative powers remain fully intact despite the recent change atop the Justice Department that gives Mueller's team a new supervisor.

Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general who represents Mueller, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker taking charge of the Russia probe ”neither alters the special counsel’s authority to represent the United States nor raises any jurisdictional issue.”

Whitaker took over as acting head of DOJ earlier this month when President Donald Trump forced Jeff Sessions' resignation.

“The Special Counsel continues to exercise the same authority, and the jurisdiction of the district court and this Court is intact,” Dreeben added in his 17-page legal brief.

Dreeben’s explanation of the new DOJ arrangement came in response to an order from the federal appellate court requesting last-minute briefs in a case brought by a former aide to Roger Stone designed to knock Mueller from his job on legal and constitutional grounds.

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