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Judge Orders DOJ To Give Mueller Grand Jury Material To House Democrats

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A federal judge on Friday ordered the Justice Department to provide grand jury materials from the special counsel’s investigation to the House Judiciary Committee, in what will be hailed as a major legal win for congressional Democrats.

Judge Beryl Howell set Oct. 30 as the deadline for DOJ to provide grand jury information cited in the special counsel’s report, which was sent to Congress on April 18.

Howell also ordered the release of grand jury materials obtained by the special counsel but not specifically cited in the report, as well as other exhibits.

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Democrats sued for the grand jury information on July 26 as part of an impeachment campaign against President Trump. Justice Department attorneys argued against releasing the information, noting that grand jury proceedings are conducted in secret.

“The need for continued secrecy is minimal and thus easily outweighed by [House Judiciary Committee’s] compelling need for the material,” Howell said in the ruling.

“Tipping the scale even further toward disclosure is the public’s interest in a diligent and thorough investigation into, and in a final determination about, potentially impeachable conduct by the President described in the Mueller Report.”

The special counsel’s report was separated into two volumes: one that dealt with an investigation into whether Trump associates conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election, and the other that focused on whether President Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation.

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The first volume of the report contained 240 redactions for grand jury material, according to Howell. The second volume contained far fewer redactions, largely because the obstruction portion of the special counsel’s investigation did not rely on grand jury proceedings.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel, said that prosecutors were unable to establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia, or that any Trump associates acted as agents of Russia.

Mueller was less definitive on the issue of obstruction. He said that prosecutors could neither recommend charges against Trump on obstruction, but could also not exonerate the president.

House Democrats initially sought the materials in hopes of using the information to mount an impeachment campaign against Trump.

Three House committees are leading a so-called “impeachment inquiry” focusing on Trump’s actions towards Ukraine.

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2 comments

  1. October 27, 2019

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi (“Pelosi”) and Chairman Adam Schiff (“Schiff”) have launched and are prosecuting an “official impeachment inquiry” without a House vote and without House Rules to do so. The inquiry is unconstitutional or extra constitutional. No precedent supports their conduct.

    Pelosi and Schiff state that the inquiry was launched on the words of an anonymous whistleblower. However, it appears that the “whistleblower” has no personal knowledge of the reported events, i.e., s/he does not meet the criteria of a whistleblower. Aside from the whistleblower versus non-whistleblower status, the public has a right to know more about this person; and, there may be a way to do just that.

    There is a longstanding principle that “‘the public … has a right to every man’s evidence,’ except for those persons protected by a constitutional, common-law, or statutory privilege. United States v. Bryan 339 U. S. at 331; Blackmer v. United States 284 U. S. 421, 438 (1932); 8 J. Wigmore, Evidence § 2192 (McNaughton rev. 1961)….” (Branzburg v. Hayes 408 US 665, 688 (1972); and, United States v. Nixon, 418 US 683, 709 (1974).

    I urge an attack on the constitutionality of the inquiry; and, to compel Pelosi and Schiff to identify the constitutional, common-law, or statutory privilege that protects against the disclosure of the so-called “whistleblower’s” identity and which protects the “whistleblower” against testifying under oath and being cross-examined by the President and the Minority.

  2. So much for the “secrecy” of Grand Jury testimony. The legal protections for privacy of those not charged with crimes is being eroded, and in this case all for the political (NOT legal) desires of a political party. And any person of moderate intelligence knows that the politicians will lead anything that sounds damaging or embarassing so as to hurt those they see as unaffiliated with their ideology and/or “cause.” I would hope this would be appealed to the Supreme Court…it would be nice to find out as soon as possible if the courts are going to join with the politicians to undermine the privacy of law abiding citizens.

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