The Trump administration on Friday said that it plans to ask the Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling that allows the House of Representatives to access secret grand jury material gathered in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The announcement was made in a court filing where the Justice Department asked the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to put its ruling and a May 1 deadline on hold while it prepares its appeal to the Supreme Court.
Last month, the appeals court ruled, 2-1, that the Democratic-controlled House could see the grand jury material from the Mueller probe. The majority agreed that the House Judiciary Committee has a “compelling need” to view the secretive details prosecutors had collected from witnesses and about President Donald Trump.
If no court steps in to put the ruling on hold the material will be released by May 1, and the Justice Department wants to delay that deadline.
“Unless the mandate is stayed, this Court’s decision will upset the status quo by requiring the Department to turn over the grand jury materials at issue, irreversibly breaching the secrecy of those materials, and raising serious questions about whether they could ever be retrieved from Congress once in Congress’s possession,” the Justice Department wrote Friday.
The House has argued it wants the still-confidential Mueller findings and grand jury material so it can investigate the President for potential obstruction of justice during the Russia investigation. The House has especially raised questions about what campaign witnesses told Mueller versus what Trump said to Mueller in written answers – saying he didn’t recall conversations about attempts to reach WikiLeaks in 2016.
The House has said at the time of the Ukraine impeachment proceedings it could still consider impeaching Trump again because of his actions during the Mueller investigation.