Judge Dabney Friedrich of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] held [opinion, PDF] Monday that the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller was constitutional.
The opinion denied the motion to dismiss by defendant Concord Management and Consulting LLC. Concord’s motion argued that Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein lacked the power to appoint a special counsel. In addition, Concord contended that the appointment violated core separation-of-power principles, and that Special Counsel Mueller had exceeded his authority by investigating and prosecuting Concord.
Friedrich devoted the bulk of her 41-page opinion to lay out how Mueller is an inferior officer subject to supervision and termination by the Acting Attorney General. She saw as crucial that “regulations [made by the special counsel] do not bind the Acting Attorney General against his wishes. Rather, the regulations persist only so long as the Acting Attorney General allows them to remain in effect.”
The decision is seen as notable [Politico report] by some because Friedrich was appointed to the court by President Donald Trump who has vocally criticized Mueller.