House Democrats are continuing in their investigation for impeachable evidence against President Trump in the redacted version of the Mueller report.
Democratic lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee petitioned the Supreme Court on Monday to release grand jury testimony from ex-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to CNN.
House counsel Douglas Letter, who wrote the court filing, said that lawmakers needed access to the sealed documents to gauge whether Trump should be impeached for obstruction of justice or some other crime. Letter said that every day the court delays, “the Committee and the public continue to suffer grave and irreparable injury.”
The Committee is being deprived of the information it needs to exercise its weighty constitutional responsibility. The Committee first requested this information from DOJ more than a year ago. The district court issued its disclosure order more than six months ago. If DOJ’s request for a stay is granted, DOJ need not file its certiorari petition until August 2020, and therefore this Court likely would not determine whether to grant or deny that petition until at least October 2020. This substantial delay will seriously endanger the Committee’s ability to complete its impeachment investigation during the current Congress — which ends not long thereafter on January 3, 2021.
The House impeached Trump last year on a largely party-line vote on two charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. Notably, neither is defined as criminal conduct under U.S. law. No Republicans voted for either measure. The Senate acquitted Trump on both counts in January.
“The Committee’s impeachment investigation related to obstruction of justice pertaining to the Russia investigation is ongoing. As the Committee has explained, it ‘has continued and will continue those investigations consistent with its own prior statements respecting their importance and purposes,’” Letter said.
The 2019 impeachment charges were based a redacted version of Mueller’s report to the Department of Justice on Russian interference in the 2016 election. After a roughly two-year investigation, Mueller turned up no evidence that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian agents.
Democrats’ stated reason for getting the grand jury testimony is to potentially build a case against Trump for obstruction of justice, an unlikely proposition since Mueller could not uncover an underlying crime, necessary to mounting an obstruction of justice charge in the legal system.
Meanwhile, U.S. attorney for Connecticut John Durham is conducting a follow-up in investigation to the Mueller probe, intent on uncovering the basis of the Russia investigation and exposing abuses of power in the Department of Justice and Intelligence Community. Some abuses have already come to light, such as the FBI’s abuse of the FISA court system to obtain warrants to investigate the Trump campaign.
Other evidence suggests that the FBI abused its investigative powers to target former national security adviser Michael Flynn. In April, unsealed text message by Peter Strzok showed that FBI top officials interfered in the investigation into Flynn to keep it open, though agents investigating the retired lieutenant general were ready to close it.
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