Loading...

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.

In The News

Health

Voting

Law

October 4, 2022
by Dan McCue
Conservative Justices Appear Inclined to Further Narrowing of Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON — After nearly two hours of oral argument on Tuesday, a number of conservative justices on the Supreme Court... Read More

WASHINGTON — After nearly two hours of oral argument on Tuesday, a number of conservative justices on the Supreme Court appeared to be sympathetic to Alabama’s request that key provisions of the Voting Rights Act be narrowed when it comes to the lawfulness of electoral maps.... Read More

October 3, 2022
by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Opens Term With New Justice, In-Person Oral Arguments

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court opens its new term on Monday with a new justice — Ketanji Brown Jackson —... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court opens its new term on Monday with a new justice — Ketanji Brown Jackson — among its members and, for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hearing oral arguments live in the courtroom. In a brief press... Read More

US Case Against American Airlines and JetBlue Heads to Court

DALLAS (AP) — The government's antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines and JetBlue begins Tuesday and the outcome could determine how... Read More

DALLAS (AP) — The government's antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines and JetBlue begins Tuesday and the outcome could determine how closely the Biden administration examines other airline deals, including JetBlue's pending attempt to buy Spirit Airlines. The Justice Department and six states are suing American and... Read More

September 23, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
State Attorneys General Face Ethics Complaint for Supporting Trump’s Election Fraud Claims

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s mounting legal problems are spreading this week to pull in state attorneys general who supported him... Read More

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s mounting legal problems are spreading this week to pull in state attorneys general who supported him in his failed effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The legal watchdog group The 65 Project filed complaints against 15 state attorneys general Wednesday to... Read More

September 23, 2022
by Dan McCue
Straight Talk Between Klobuchar, Cruz Advances Senate Journalism Antitrust Bill 

WASHINGTON — It took two weeks of straight talk and negotiations, but in the end, a deal between Sens. Amy... Read More

WASHINGTON — It took two weeks of straight talk and negotiations, but in the end, a deal between Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, advanced what could prove to be a highly significant antitrust bill for the news media out of a Senate committee... Read More

September 19, 2022
by Dan McCue
Administrative Law Judge Dismisses Antitrust Charges Related to Cancer Detection Tests

WASHINGTON — An administrative law judge has dismissed an antitrust complaint brought against DNA sequencing provider Illumina, Inc. related to... Read More

WASHINGTON — An administrative law judge has dismissed an antitrust complaint brought against DNA sequencing provider Illumina, Inc. related to its proposed $7.1 billion acquisition of GRAIL, Inc., the major developer of a multi-cancer early detection test. The tests are noninvasive, early detection liquid biopsy tests... Read More

News From The Well