Jul 26, 2019

Democrats seek Mueller's grand jury material, sidestepping impeachment debate

Jerry Nadler and Democrats on House Judiciary Committee Friday, July 26. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said at a Friday press briefing that his committee is petitioning for Robert Mueller's grand jury material, including testimony from former White House counsel Donald McGahn.

What it means: Nadler said his committee is “in effect” carrying out an impeachment inquiry, "but stressed that it differs from that because other outcomes are possible," per the Washington Post. Nadler is "attempting to sidestep a debate raging inside his party over whether the House should hold a vote to formally declare that it is opening an impeachment inquiry," the NYT reports.

What they're saying: “I would say we are in an impeachment investigation, and as to the results of the investigation, it could lead to articles of impeachment or something else,” House Judiciary member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) said on Friday.

  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) agreed with Raskin, and several junior committee members told reporters the same thing — that this filing essentially launched an "impeachment investigation."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi approved the language in Friday's lawsuit, according to a source familiar with its drafting, the Times reports.

The bottom line: Constitutional and judicial precedent suggest the House can launch impeachment investigations in many ways — and, "There is no formal rule that says the full House must formally authorize an impeachment inquiry for the committee to conduct one," per the Times.

Go deeper: Where grand jury material fits in the new case for impeachment

Go deeper

Nadler: "We have impeachment resolutions before the committee"

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) declined to explicitly say on ABC's "This Week" whether Democrats are pursuing an official impeachment inquiry, but repeated to George Stephanopoulos what he wrote in a court filing last week: "We have impeachment resolutions before the committee."

Go deeperArrowJul 28, 2019

The impeachment whip list

Graphic: Axios Visuals

224 House Democrats and 1 independent publicly support launching an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, according to an Axios analysis.

Driving the news: Allegations that Trump may have pressured Ukraine's president to investigate Joe Biden have unleashed a new wave of calls to impeach Trump. The Senate and House Intelligence Committees received the whistleblower complaint Wednesday, and House Democrats told reporters they were "disturbed" upon reviewing it.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 3, 2019

House Judiciary and DOJ agree to timeline for Mueller grand jury petition

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department have jointly proposed a briefing schedule for Democrats' petition to release grand jury materials from the Mueller report, with responses from each party set for Sept. 13 and 30.

Why it matters: House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said the petition to unseal the grand jury materials is part of the committee's investigation into whether to approve articles of impeachment against President Trump. House Democrats have indicated they want to obtain the strongest evidence possible before moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. But the timeline — which wouldn't see oral arguments until at least October — could prove frustrating for lawmakers hoping for a more expedient impeachment process.

Go deeper: The impeachment whip count

Keep ReadingArrowJul 31, 2019