House Democrats to federal court: Sealed Mueller grand jury materials are needed for separate impeachment investigation

House Democrats to federal court: Sealed Mueller grand jury materials are needed for separate impeachment investigation

This Wednesday, December 18, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to have a full vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump that have been approved by the House Judiciary Committee: one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress. And according to a December 16 article by attorney Colin Kalmbacher for Law & Crime, House Democrats are conducting a separate impeachment investigation of Trump based on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Kalmbacher reports that in a 66-page document filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Monday, Democratic attorneys noted that they plan to move forward with a separate impeachment investigation that is directly connected to the Mueller Report yet might shed some light on the Ukraine scandal. The attorney notes, “Democrats are determined to obtain additional grand jury materials produced in the course of Mueller’s investigation that the Department of Justice has been just as determined to keep under judicial lock-and-key.”

In the filing, Democrats wrote, “The Department of Justice takes extraordinary positions in this case. It does so to avoid disclosing grand-jury material needed for the House’s impeachment of President Trump and the Senate’s trial to remove him from office. This Court should reject DOJ’s efforts to insulate the president from Congress’ impeachment power.”

Kalmbacher notes that “as of now, it’s not entirely clear what Mueller may have uncovered that is particularly relevant to the Ukraine affair.”

House General Counsel Douglas N. Letter has been aggressively pushing for Democratic access to the sealed Mueller materials, but Attorney General William Barr has a very different point of view. Barr, Kalmbacher observes, “has consistently argued that House investigators should not be privy to the grand jury materials in question because the ongoing impeachment investigations are not the type of ‘judicial proceeding’ that would necessitate the unsealing of grand jury documents.”

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