A three-judge appeals court panel has ruled that House Democrats can obtain grand-jury material that was redacted in Robert Mueller’s special counsel report.
Mueller spent an estimated $45 million over more than two years to investigate Democrats’ claims that the Trump campaign in 2016 colluded with Russia. The former FBI director found he could make no case for collusion. The Democrats’ claims were fueled in part by the use of a bogus, anti-Trump “dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to obtain permission to spy on the Trump campaign.
The Washington Examiner reported the order from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals instructed the Justice Department to turn over to the House Judiciary Committee the redacted parts of Mueller’s report.
“It is the district court, not the Executive or the Department of Justice, that controls access to the grand jury materials at issue here,” the ruling said.
A district judge decided last fall, in the middle of the Democrats’ ultimately failed impeachment campaign, that secrecy was only nominally important at that point.
DOJ officials said they are reviewing the decision, the Examiner said.
Democrats made a variety of allegations about what was in the redacted material when they first attempted to obtain it last year.
The DOJ defense was that any cases that might develop from the evidence outweigh the Democrats’ desire to know the contents of the material.
The two-judge majority took note of the fact that Democrats tried to use Mueller’s report in their impeachment effort.
The Examiner pointed out the first impeachment charged Trump abused his power by soliciting Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election to benefit him personally.
The second impeachment charged alleged “obstruction of Congress” by the executive branch.
Mueller’s report does not conclude the president committed a crime.
The third judge on the panel simply said the case was moot since the impeachment campaign was over.
But Fox News reported Democrats have made no secret of their intention of continue to investigate the president and possibly launch another impeachment campaign.
The case still could be heard by the full court or the Supreme Court.