- The Washington Times - Friday, August 31, 2018

A federal appeals court ruled in favor of special counsel Robert Mueller’s office  in blocking a Russian company accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election from intervening in the contempt case brought against an associate of President Trump’s former campaign adviser Roger Stone.

Ruling for the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., Judges David Tatel and Thomas Griffith on Thursday denied a motion filed by attorneys representing Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, a Kremlin-linked company charged with meddling in the 2016 race, rejecting the lawyers’ bid to involve themselves in the government’s contempt case against Andrew Miller, Mr. Stone’s former aide.

The special counsel’s office has set its sights on both Concord and Mr. Miller as part of its ongoing probe of the 2016 race, pursuing criminal charges against the company in D.C. federal court amid separately seeking testimony from Mr. Miller and several others with personal ties to the president’s former campaign adviser.

Lawyers representing Concord have argued in favor of dismissing the charges against the company by claiming that Mr. Mueller was unconstitutionally appointed to serve as special counsel, and Mr. Miller’s attorneys made a similar case in support of their client’s decision to refuse a subpoena compelling his appearance before a federal grand jury.

“The witness raises legitimate questions, but his concerns are not legally sustainable,” U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell wrote earlier this month in a ruling rejecting Mr. Miller’s argument. “The scope of the Special Counsel’s power falls well within the boundaries the Constitution permits, as the Special Counsel is supervised by an official who is himself accountable to the elected President.”

Mr. Miller was subsequently held in contempt for not complying with the subpoena following Judge Howell’s ruling, and last week Concord’s attorneys said they would try to join an appeal brought on his behalf.

“The movant has not demonstrated that it has standing, as it must in order to intervene,” the appeals court ruled Thursday in the motion denying Concord’s request. “Specifically, movant has not shown that the injury it alleges will be redressed by a favorable decision in this case.”

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, declined to comment on the appeals court’s ruling when reached by The Washington Times for reaction.

Eric Dubelier, a Reed Smith LLP attorney representing Concord in the case, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Mr. Miller is among a handful of people closely tied to Mr. Stone, a longtime Republican strategist and lobbyist, contacted by the special counsel’s office as part of its investigation into the 2016 race.

Mr. Stone, 66, served on the Trump campaign through 2015. He has faced scrutiny over his contacts with Guccifer 2.0, an internet persona linked to Russian military intelligence, as well as his comments he made during the 2016 race about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization that ultimately released documents damaging to Mr. Trump’s opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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