Supreme Court blocks the release of Mueller grand jury materials

Supreme Court blocks the release of Mueller grand jury materials
Official portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Steve Petteway / Public domain

House Democrats leading the Judiciary Committee will still not have access to the grand jury materials from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after the Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a stay on the information's release.

President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice will have until June 1 to file arguments with the court against the House's case to obtain the materials. If the department doesn't file its petition by then, the House would gain access to the grand jury information.

The case is part of the ongoing legal battles surrounding Mueller's probe and the House's investigation of the matter.

A lower court has ruled in the House's favor, but the administration appealed the case up to the Supreme Court. It had asked for the stay, which the court granted on Wednesday. Had it not granted the stay, the legal battle would have been moot. The Supreme Court will now consider whether it should take up the case, which hinges on the extent of the House's subpoena power and the rules governing grand jury secrecy.

At the heart of the matter is the information in the Mueller report, which is currently redacted and references evidence obtained via the grand jury. Traditionally, this material is kept secret unless it is used as evidence in another judicial setting. Democrats have argued that Congress's power to impeach and try the president grants it the prerogative of judicial bodies to obtain grand jury materials, but this right is in dispute.

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