With talk of a government shutdown looming on the horizon, all eyes have turned to perhaps the most important government official– special counselor Robert Mueller.
Per the Justice Department, while federal officials would be impacted by a spending freeze, employees in the special counsel office would be considered exempt and “would continue their operations in the case of a lapse in appropriations.”
Because special counsel investigations are not part of the annual funding process subject to congressional approval, but rather benefit from a “permanent, indefinite appropriation for independent counsels,” its employees would continue working through a government shutdown.
Trump, for his part, has tried his hand at suggesting that Congress financially attack the probe investigating his own potentially illegal activities by tweeting about its “COSTLY” nature.
It is now commonly agreed, after many months of COSTLY looking, that there was NO collusion between Russia and Trump. Was collusion with HC!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2017
However, due to the appropriations structure currently in tact, Congress is unable to impact Mueller’s investigation by choking off funds.
A government shutdown, meanwhile, would theoretically occur on Friday at midnight if Republicans and Democrats cannot come to an agreement on the issue of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Republicans are now holding hostage despite assurances that “DREAMers” would be protected.
While no one is rooting for a government shutdown, the silver lining is that the single most important work being done at the federal level would be allowed to continue.