May 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to shield Mueller material

Supreme Court building

Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court Thursday to temporarily block an appellate ruling that would force the Justice Department to give Congress some secret grand jury material from the Mueller investigation, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Even though President Trump was acquitted by the Senate in February for allegedly trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, House Democrats have said that grand jury material could help them determine if Trump obstructed the Mueller investigation, possibly requiring new articles of impeachment.

The state of play: House Democrats got a pathway to access the material from a ruling in their favor by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

  • The D.C. Circuit also said grand jury records are not Justice Department records and noted that Congress has been given access to them during impeachment investigations involving three federal judges and two presidents.

What they're saying:

  • Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the Supreme Court that a release of the documents would "irrevocably lift their secrecy and possibly frustrate the government’s ability to seek further review."
  • House Democrats said in a recent appeals court filing that the House Judiciary Committee's "investigation is not 'dormant'" as it "[exercises] its investigative and oversight responsibilities."

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