facebook linkedin twitter

Appeals Court Finds House Entitled to Grand Jury Info from Mueller Report

March 10, 2020 by Dan McCue
Appeals Court Finds House Entitled to Grand Jury Info from Mueller Report

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court ruled that Justice Department officials must release grand jury testimony, compiled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his probe into Russian interference in the 2020 election, to the House of Representatives.

A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court order that the Justice Department disclose to the House certain secret material from the Mueller investigation.

The decision came in response to several separation-of-powers lawsuits filed before the House vote to impeach President Donald Trump in December, and his acquittal in the Senate in February.

But it’s not the final word on the matter.


The Justice Department can request a hearing before the full panel of D.C. Circuit court judges, or it can appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was happy Tuesday, declaring the ruling, “an unequivocal rejection of the President’s insistence that he is above the law and his blanket refusal to cooperate with Congressional requests for information.”  

“It is also another rebuke of Attorney General [WIlliam] Barr’s brazen efforts to prevent evidence of Presidential wrongdoing from being uncovered, which the Courts continue to challenge,” she said.


“This important appeals court decision upholds the House’s long-standing right to obtain grand jury information pursuant to the House’s impeachment power and makes clear that the release of grand jury information is the decision of the federal judiciary – not the Administration,” Pelosi concluded.

Writing for the majority in the 2-1 decision, U.S. Circuit Judge Judith Rogers said “it is the district court, not the Executive or the Department, that controls access to the grand jury materials issued here.

“The Department has objected to disclosure of the redacted grand jury materials, but the Department has no interest in objecting to the release of these materials outside of the general purposes and policies of grand jury secrecy, which as discussed, do not outweigh the Committee’s compelling need for disclosure,” she added.

Later, she noted, “Special Counsel Mueller prepared his report with the expectation that Congress would review it.”

U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith concurred with Rogers’ opinion. But U.S. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, the lone Trump appointee on the panel, disagreed, maintaining Congress lacks standing to seek court orders for documents held by the executive branch.

Judge Rao also insisted the panel should have ruled the House no longer needed the materials in the wake of Trump’s impeachment and acquittal, and past justifications for exempting Congress from grand jury secrecy laws are now moot.


“A reasonable observer might wonder why we are deciding this case at this time,” Rao wrote. “After all, the Committee sought these materials preliminary to an impeachment proceeding and the Senate impeachment trial has concluded.

“Why is this controversy not moot?” she asked.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Law

May 25, 2022
by Dan McCue
4th Circuit Rules Civil War Era Amnesty Rule Does Not Apply to Later Insurrectionists

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court has ruled that the protections inscribed in an amnesty law passed in the... Read More

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court has ruled that the protections inscribed in an amnesty law passed in the aftermath of the Civil War do not apply to other insurrectionists. Tuesday’s ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the limits of the... Read More

May 24, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Appeals Court Hands Gov. DeSantis a Loss

ATLANTA, Ga. —  A Florida law intended to punish social media companies from allegedly barring conservative politicians from their platforms... Read More

ATLANTA, Ga. —  A Florida law intended to punish social media companies from allegedly barring conservative politicians from their platforms is unconstitutional, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday. “Put simply, with minor exceptions, the government can’t tell a private person or entity what... Read More

May 23, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Leak of Employee Survey to Media Prompts DC Courts Investigation

WASHINGTON — The federal judiciary in Washington, D.C., is investigating how embarrassing results of an employee survey were leaked to... Read More

WASHINGTON — The federal judiciary in Washington, D.C., is investigating how embarrassing results of an employee survey were leaked to the media recently. The confidential survey revealed that some employees of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals were bullied by judges, which... Read More

May 23, 2022
by Reece Nations
Federal Judge Postpones Planned End to Title 42 Expulsions

LAFAYETTE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday blocked the Biden administration from letting Title 42 expire as... Read More

LAFAYETTE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday blocked the Biden administration from letting Title 42 expire as it was originally planned to do this week. District Judge Robert Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for Western Louisiana issued his ruling one week after... Read More

May 20, 2022
by Dan McCue
Bipartisan Lawyers' Coalition Raps Cruz on 2020 Election Efforts

AUSTIN, Texas – A bipartisan coalition of attorneys asked the Texas State Bar this week to sanction Sen. Ted Cruz,... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas – A bipartisan coalition of attorneys asked the Texas State Bar this week to sanction Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for regularly repeating “demonstrably false and misleading statements to the public” in an effort to keep former President Trump in office. According to its website,... Read More

May 14, 2022
by Reece Nations
Louisiana Judge Hears Oral Arguments in Challenge to Title 42 Termination

LAFAYETTE, La. — Judge Robert Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for Western Louisiana heard arguments on Friday in a... Read More

LAFAYETTE, La. — Judge Robert Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for Western Louisiana heard arguments on Friday in a federal lawsuit that seeks to delay the planned end of the Title 42 migrant expulsion public health authority. Lawyers for a coalition of states made their... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top