On Monday, CNN reported on a court filing that reveals House Democrats requested the Supreme Court provide them with secret grand jury material from former special counsel Robert Mueller‘s 2016 investigation into Russian election interference. According to the publication, the House Judiciary Committee is looking to determine if the documents contain new evidence of impeachable offenses linked to President Donald Trump, who was impeached last year on two counts and later acquitted by the Senate.
“The Committee’s impeachment investigation related to obstruction of justice pertaining to the Russia investigation is ongoing,” Douglas Letter, the House general counsel, said in the legal filing, which was dated Monday.
“If this material reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles adopted by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment.”
According to CNN, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has attempted to block the release of the materials, which Letter noted were originally requested by the House over a year ago. As reported by Breitbart, Attorney General William Barr, an outspoken Trump ally, is the primary roadblock in the release of the records.
“Normally grand jury proceedings are secret, and so Attorney General William Barr, citing federal law, declined the Democrats’ request,” the publication noted.
“They then held him in contempt of Congress, and took their case for the materials to federal court.”
The publication continued to highlight that Democrats ultimately won the case at the D.C. Circuit, but the DOJ appealed to the Supreme Court on May 7. On May 8, Chief Justice Roberts put a temporary hold on the documents — a decision Letter is pushing back against. A delay in the release of the materials, Letter argued, would hinder the Committee from concluding its impeachment investigation in the current Congress, which ends on January 3, 2021.
Mueller’s report concluded that there was no evidence that Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. Although the report documented multiple perceived instances of obstruction of justice, Mueller declined to indict Trump, citing the DOJ policy against such a process. Instead, Mueller placed the decision on how to move forward in the hands of Congress and its powers of impeachment.
As The Inquisitr reported, Letter previously suggested that the documents could pave the way to new obstruction charges against Trump. The president already faced one obstruction charge in December 2019, along with one charge of abuse of power.