Grand Jury Material From Mueller Investigation To Remain Sealed Likely Through November Election
The Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request on Thursday to consider whether grand jury material from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation can be released to Congress, meaning any evidence or documents will likely not be released before the November election — regardless of whether the Democrat-led House wins the case.
The documents in question include portions of Mueller’s report that were redacted to protect grand jury information, such as testimony and exhibits pertaining to the Russia investigation.
Dozens of witnesses testified before Mueller’s grand jury including President Donald Trump‘s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and at least two people who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting in summer 2016 with a Kremlin-linked lawyer.
The court’s move is a victory for the Justice Department, which has been trying to prevent the information from being turned over to Congress. Democrats have argued the documents could reveal important information about Russian election interference in 2016 and Trump’s response to it.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York) said he was “confident” Congress would win the case, but was nonetheless disappointed by the court’s decision.
“Unfortunately, President Trump and Attorney General [William] Barr are continuing to try to run out the clock on any and all accountability. While I am confident their legal arguments will fail, it is now all the more important for the American people to hold the President accountable at the ballot box in November,” Nadler said in a statement.
The federal appeals court in Washington ruled in March that the documents should be turned over, noting that Mueller’s 448-report “stopped short” of determining whether Trump obstructed justice, and thus did not interfere with Congress’ impeachment power.
However, the Justice Department told the Supreme Court in filings that the House has not shown that it “urgently needs these materials for any ongoing impeachment investigation,” despite some talk that the information contained in the documents could lead to a second round of impeachment charges.