Under normal circumstances, the Democrat-led House would have received all of the evidence from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation. These are not normal times, though. However, the Democrats did have a great plan.
They went to a federal judge to force Attorney General (AG) William Barr to release all of the Grand Jury’s evidence in the case. The report and evidence was supposed to go to Barr and directly on to Congress in just a brief pass-through. Instead, Barr held onto them, claiming that he did not have to release them.
Barr appealed the federal judge’s ruling, according to ABC News:
‘The Justice Department on Monday appealed a federal judge’s ruling granting congressional Democrats access to grand jury evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and asked that judge to place a hold on the production of the material pending resolution of the appeal.’
Barr’s attorneys argued that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would be “irreparably harmed” if those materials made it into the congressional hands. D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell ruled that the DOJ had to give the House Judiciary Committee portions of the Mueller investigation’s grand jury evidence by October 30.
The attorneys for the DOJ wrote:
‘Once the information is disclosed, it cannot be recalled, and the confidentiality of the grand jury information will be lost for all time.’
Last July, the committee asked for “certain” materials from the Mueller grand jury. This was the House’s initial move toward impeachment. The Department of Justice argued against turning this information over to the Democrats. Barr’s attorneys argued in court that the law forbids disclosing information from grand juries.
Right after the Department of Justice filed an appeal Monday, Judge Howell ordered the Judiciary Committee to respond to Barr by noon Tuesday.
Howell’s 75-page final ruling said given that the House was continuing with its impeachment inquiry, the DOJ could not claim all grand jury material be withheld. The judge continued, saying that portions of the Mueller Report would be “of interest” to the committee, especially the Trump Tower meeting information.
In that meeting, then-campaign chair Paul Manafort shared the campaign’s internal polling data with the Russians. Also the WikiLeak’s release of the stolen emails from Democratic political organization and from the Clinton campaign.
The DOJ’s attorney asked what the grand jury evidence had in common with the impeachment inquiry. They said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she was limiting the inquiry to whistleblower information about the Ukrainian debacle. The DOJ wrote:
‘Although the HJC claims that it needs the information promptly because it continues to investigate matters connected to the Mueller Report, there appears little dispute that, for now, that investigation is secondary, and Congressman Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee—not the Judiciary Committee—is the lead committee heading the congressional investigation.’
Judge Howell called the DOJ’s dispute against the Democrat’s impeachment hearing:
‘[A]t worst, red herrings and, at best, incorrect.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.