PBS NewsHour / YouTube What Robert Mueller brings to the...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

Congress did not meet their midnight deadline to reach a funding agreement, largely because President Donald Trump threw a fit in wanting literal billions approved to further fund his sickening border wall. In this partial government shutdown, some agencies will be closed or offer more limited resources.

Did Trump think that, perhaps, the investigation into how Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election would stop in the event of a shutdown? Who knows what he thought, but the reality is, the investigation will continue.

Robert Mueller’s investigation is housed in the Justice Department. But because he is special counsel, he is unaffected by the shutdown. As a Justice Department spokesperson told The Hill, their office is “funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown.”

So basically, his office doesn’t rely on a yearly appropriation from Congress, like some other departments. And employees who work in the special counsel’s office also will not be directly affected by the shutdown (meaning, they won’t be furloughed). 

(And for the record, the past government shutdowns didn’t stall Mueller’s investigation, either).

While it’s a relief to all those who want justice that the Mueller investigation will continue, the shutdown is still a seriously big deal for many people. Some federal employees will be furloughed (meaning that they’ll basically be on “leave” temporarily and won’t be paid at this time), and federal contractors will be both out of work and out of pay, without the protections federal employees have.

Trump has endlessly attacked the investigation, between calling it a “witch hunt” to attempting to divert attention by accusing Democrats of colluding with the Russians. He can only blame the “fake news” for so long, and this shutdown isn’t stopping Mueller from getting closer to the truth.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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