- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2018

A government shutdown would not stall special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, a Justice Department spokesman said Friday.

The special counsel’s office is funded with “a permanent, indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown,” the spokesman told The Washington Times.

A partial shutdown could go into effect midnight Friday as lawmakers squabble over $5 billion for President Trump’s Mexican border wall.

If that happens, a number of agencies would grind to a halt, including the Justice Department, which oversees the Mueller probe.

But since the funds allocated for the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election arise from a separate appropriation, it can operate while other Justice Department employees would be placed on temporary leave.

Previous government shutdowns have not affected the Mueller probe, which Mr. Trump has called a “witch hunt.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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