According to all appearances, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court. An unidentified foreign government-owned company has sought to have the court intervene to stop a subpoena to submit grand jury testimony that Mueller’s team issued, and the government has seemingly already responded to the company’s filing, although their deadline to do so was Monday.
The case remains secretive, and there’s no public confirmation that the government is even behind the filing that was submitted. Whoever did submit the response in the case also submitted an application to put their filing under seal.
The case has been winding its way through the lower court system for months. Not too long ago, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the unnamed company must comply with the subpoena, insisting their foreign status did not exempt them thanks to unidentified commercial activity. That court took drastic measures to conceal the identities of those involved, including clearing out the entire floor where they heard the case — although in their response, they eventually offered some of the only confirmed details.
The company’s failure to comply with what seems to be Mueller’s subpoena had earned them a citation for contempt — which Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has put on hold while his bench considers their case. Connections to Mueller have been established through in-person observations connecting the special counsel’s team to the case and its nature.
The situation is similar to but distinct from a case that Roger Stone associate Andrew Miller has brought against Mueller’s office. He’s challenged a subpoena he was slapped with to the point of seeking to have the entire basis for the special counsel’s authority declared as in question, although none of the number of cases brought against the special counsel to that effect have so far succeeded.
The Russian company Concord Management joined him in his efforts after being hit with criminal charges over their role in the Kremlin’s 2016 election meddling and themselves failing in efforts to get those conspiracy charges thrown out.
POLITICO notes that the Supreme Court “rarely” hears cases on an entirely sealed basis, meaning that if they decide to take up the case and hear the unnamed company’s appeal, that company could be publicly named. Options for their identity range from a troll farm like Concord to a foreign bank that’s relevant to the Russia investigation. Mueller has already gone after plenty of shady bank accounts, seeing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort put behind bars over his team’s fraud case against the operative.
His investigation also recently roped in former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Organization’s business ties to Russia. He was sentenced to three years in prison for that and other crimes, including campaign finance law violations in which he directly implicated the president.
The special counsel has proven consistent in going after anyone from Manafort and Cohen to whatever this foreign government owned company at the center of the secretive grand jury case is.
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