The Trump administration will have another 10 days to rush to the Supreme Court for help before it’ll have to turn over Mueller grand jury secrets to the House of Representatives, a federal appeals court said on Friday.
In a brief order, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, said it would give the Justice Department time to appeal to the Supreme Court. The court had previously said documents and details from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation would have to be turned over Friday. Now, the deadline is May 11, the day before the Supreme Court hears another high-profile case about House Democrats’ investigations into President Donald Trump.
The Justice Department has said it would ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the Mueller grand jury case. If that happens and the Supreme Court wants to hear the case, it could be months before it’s resolved. Last month, the appeals court ruled, 2-1, that the Democratic-controlled House could see the grand jury material from the Mueller probe and redacted portions of the Mueller report. The majority agreed that the House Judiciary Committee has a “compelling need” to view the secretive details prosecutors had collected from witnesses and about Trump.
The Justice Department argued that once the grand jury materials were turned over to the House Judiciary Committee, they could eventually be made public.
“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 last week.
The House says 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.
Democrats have 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.
“The current pandemic notwithstanding, the Committee’s investigation is not ‘dormant,’” the House wrote to the appeals court this week.