Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed it will hear a Trump administration appeal to shield secret Mueller investigation grand jury materials from the Democratic-controlled House.

Why it matters: The move will likely extend the legal battle over the documents into next year, essentially guaranteeing that they won't be released before November's election. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sought to obtain the records as part of their impeachment inquiry last year.

Details: The court said it will review an order from a lower court for the Department of Justice to hand over redacted parts of Mueller's final report, along with grand jury transcripts.

  • Grand jury records are usually kept secret, but a judge can authorize to disclose them during “judicial proceedings.” The legal question is whether the House's impeachment inquiry falls under that.
  • A federal appeals court previously ruled Democrats could gain access to the materials. But the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the DOJ from handing it over in May, and the court extended that ruling today.

What's next: The court will consider the case in the term that starts this October.

What they're saying:

“I am disappointed by the Court’s decision to prolong this case further, but I am confident we will prevail.  In every administration before this one, DOJ has cooperated with the Judiciary Committee’s requests for grand jury materials relating to investigations of impeachable offenses.  Attorney General Barr broke from that practice, and DOJ’s newly invented arguments against disclosure have failed at every level.
Unfortunately, President Trump and Attorney General Barr are continuing to try to run out the clock on any and all accountability.  While I am confident their legal arguments will fail, it is now all the more important for the American people to hold the President accountable at the ballot box in November.”
— House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler

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Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Virginia man who drove into Black Lives Matter protesters jailed for 6 years

Photo: Henrico County Police

An "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan" has been sentenced to six years in prison for driving his vehicle into Black Lives Matter protesters in Richmond, Virginia, and faces more charges before a grand jury next month, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The big picture: Harry H. Rogers, 36, of Virginia, received the maximum penalty for "six misdemeanors, including assault, destruction of property and hit-and-run charges" over the June 7 incident after a judge in Henrico County District Court convicted him on Monday, the New York Times notes. The judge ruled the attack was not a hate crime because "the victims were white," WTVR-TV reported. Rogers' three outstanding felony charges are for alleged attempted malicious wounding, AP reports.

Aug 12, 2020 - Podcasts

The fight over the future of ridesharing

On Monday, a California superior court judge ruled that Uber and Lyft should classify drivers as employees, not temporary contractors. Both companies plan to appeal, and on Wednesday, Uber’s CEO said that the company would have to temporarily stop operating in California if the ruling is upheld.

Axios Re:Cap examines the legal battle and what comes next with the New York Times' Mike Isaac, author of “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber.”

How small businesses got stiffed by the coronavirus pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.