May 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to shield Mueller material

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."

Go deeper ... Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.