Supreme Court Blocks Release of Full Mueller Report for Now (Details).
The US Supreme Court has blocked the House Judiciary Committee from treceiving previously undisclosed findings from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report investigating Russian interference in US elections in 2016.
Earlier this month, the US Department of Justice asked the court to pause the release of report materials while it appealed an appeals court ruling that would require redacted portions of the report be released, along with grand jury transcripts and other evidence that previously were kept under wraps.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court granted the Justice Department’s request. Department officials have a 1 June deadline to file a petition seeking review of a previous court decision that granted the release of the documents, though pending hearings could delay the release of the full report until after the November general election, while Donald Trump and his allies undermine the report with conspiracies targeting his predecessor Barack Obama.
House committee members wrote that the redactions crucial to the case bear on whether the president “committed impeachable offences by obstructing the FBI’s and Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and his possible motivations for doing so”.
The committee told the court that despite the president’s November impeachment and Senate acquittal in February, “the committee’s impeachment investigation related to obstruction of justice pertaining to the Russia investigation is ongoing”.
In July 2019, after the Justice Department refused to comply with a subpoena for the full, unredacted version of the report, the House committee asked a federal court just to disclose the release of the materials. The judge agreed.
The Justice Department appealed, and the three-judge panel upheld the lower court’s ruling.
Justice Department officials then sought intervention at the Supreme Court to block the release of the materials until the agency filed a petition for review of that appellate decision.
The House committee’s brief to the Supreme Court “has further developed in light of recent events” including the Justice Department’s apparent leniency in the sentencing of Trump ally Roger Stone, who was convicted of perjury and witness intimidation, as well as Attorney General William Barr’s request to dismiss the case against former national security adviser and Trump campaign aide Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
In its brief, the committee says it is “investigating the possible exercise of improper political influence over recent decisions made in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn prosecutions, both of which were initiated by the special counsel.”
“The committee and the public continue to suffer grave and irreparable injury each additional day the district court’s order is prevented from going into effect,” the brief said. “The committee is being deprived of the information it needs to exercise its weighty constitutional responsibility.”