A federal judge on Thursday denied a request by special counsel Robert Mueller and several other federal agencies to delay an upcoming hearing in a lawsuit brought by Roger Stone-linked conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.
Government attorneys had argued in a United States district court filing Wednesday that the ongoing government shutdown hamstrung their lawyers by cutting off funding to the Justice Department.
"Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys are generally prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances," they claimed in the filing in Washington, D.C., District Court.
A lawyer for Corsi, 72, retorted that the request for a delay was being "proffered tactically," and asserted that "it is highly doubtful" DOJ attorneys "are actually prohibited from working."
Judge Richard Leon denied the request for a stay in proceedings, and reaffirmed that a hearing will be held in a Washington, D.C. courthouse next Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
Corsi said in a tweet that he plans to attend the hearing.
A spokesman for the special counsel's office declined CNBC's request for comment on the judge's order.
The suit is one of a number of cases that have recently seen government lawyers asking for delays in light of the partial shutdown, which began at midnight Friday after President Donald Trump and U.S. lawmakers failed to hash out a deal on funding for a border wall.
The lawsuit brought by Corsi, a leading promulgator of the Obama "birther" conspiracy and the "Swift Boat" campaign, accuses the defendants of illegally searching his phone records.
He also accuses the special counsel of attempting to coerce him to say under oath that he was a liaison between Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in the publication of emails stolen from Democrats.
For more than a year and a half, Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump campaign-related figures.