Reports: Mueller In Closed-Door Fight With Secret Witness

robert mueller in a room in front of an american flag

Special counsel Robert Mueller (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEWSMAX|AIWA! NO!|Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly involved in a closed-door fight with a witness who’s refused to testify before a grand jury investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

A confidential hearing on a secret battle first disclosed by Politico was held Friday at the federal courthouse in Washington, The New York Times reported. An entire floor of the courthouse was closed to the press to guard the identities of lawyers involved in the secret case.

But according to the Times, it appears the battle is over whether a witness can be forced to answer investigators’ questions — and it’s not President Donald Trump.

“We’re not involved in it — we’re not aware of the nature or scope of the litigation,” Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s lawyers, told the Times Saturday.

According to the Times, Mueller’s investigators and lawyers for Trump are still wrangling over whether Trump will sit down for a face-to-face interview; Trump’s  already answered written questions.

And if those talks break down, Mueller could seek to subpoena the president, giving Trump’s lawyers the chance to go public to bolster the president’s claim the probe is a witch hunt.

The Times noted in one aspect of the probe, Mueller is examining whether one of Trump’s longtime associates, Roger Stone, was a conduit between WikiLeaks and the campaign. Mueller is already in a legal fight with a Stone associate who’s refusing to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents, the Times reported.Related Stories:

Read Newsmax: Russia Probe in Closed-Door Fight With Secret Witness | Newsmax.com
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US – More than 400 former Department of Justice employees sign a statement opposing Trump appointee Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is facing criticism about whether he violated federal law because a campaign committee set up a failed 2014 Senate bid accepted $8,800 in donations this year, while Whitaker was serving as a top Justice Department lawyer.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is facing criticism about whether he violated federal law because a campaign committee set up a failed 2014 Senate bid accepted $8,800 in donations this year, while Whitaker was serving as a top Justice Department lawyer.

Lawyers, judges and civil servants signed joint statement opposing Whitaker

By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE|AIWA! NO!|More than 400 former Department of Justice employees have signed a statement condemning President Trump‘s choice to appoint an acting attorney general. 

In the statement, lawyers, judges and civil servants say that are ‘disturbed’ by Trump’s choice to appoint Matt Whitaker to the role because he has not been vetted by the Senate.

They call on Trump to nominate a full attorney general to replace Jeff Sessions so that the candidate can be properly examined, and in the meantime to offer the role to the Senate-approved official who is next in line.

Matt Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general after Trump fired Jeff Sessions, but now 400 former DoJ employees have called for a proper Senate-vetted successor
Acting Attorney General Matt  Whitaker

Matt Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general after Trump fired Jeff Sessions, but now 400 former DoJ employees have called for a proper Senate-vetted successor.

The statement says: ‘We know that overseeing the Department of Justice is one of the most important roles in our government. 

‘The attorney general is responsible for ensuring that we are a nation of laws and that every citizen and every government official – including the President himself – is equally subject to those laws. 

‘Because of the profound responsibilities the position entails and the independence it requires, it can only be filled by someone who has been subjected to the strictest scrutiny under the process required by the Constitution.

‘Mr. Whitaker has not been confirmed by the Senate, his qualifications to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer have not been publicly reviewed, and he has not been fully vetted for any potential conflicts of interest.’

Trump sacked Session after months of criticism for failing to protect him from the Russia probe, but because Whitaker was appointed in an 'acting' capacity, he has not been vetted
President Trump

Trump sacked Session after months of criticism for failing to protect him from the Russia probe, but because Whitaker was appointed in an ‘acting’ capacity, he has not been vetted.

After months of chastising Sessions for failing to protect him from the Russia probe into election interference, Trump finally fired his attorney general last month.

Session technically resigned, but made it clear in his letter to Trump that he was offering the resignation ‘at your request’. 

He was promptly replaced by Whitaker, a Trump loyalist who has previously described the Russia probe – which he is now overseeing – as a ‘witch hunt’, echoing Trump’s own words.

But because Whitaker was appointed as acting attorney general, he has not faced Senators for the usual cross-examination before being confirmed.

The statement had 421 signatories as of Wednesday morning, but others are being asked to add their names with the list being updated twice daily