Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office would still be able to continue working if the federal government shuts down next week as a result of lawmakers’ inability to produce a spending package before funding expires for several government agencies.
Mueller’s office is “funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown,” a Justice Department spokesperson told CNN Wednesday. “The appropriation bills before Congress do not touch the (special counsel’s office).”
Should no deal be reached by December 7, funding for several agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, will expire.
Concerns about the continuity of Mueller’s investigation, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone from President Donald Trump’s campaign was involved, were also raised earlier this year when an eventual shutdown loomed in January. At the time, a Justice spokesperson confirmed to CNN that employees in the office are considered exempt from furlough and “would continue their operations in the case of a lapse in appropriations.”
CNN’s Phil Mattingly and Eli Watkins contributed to this report.