The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to block the release of documents related to former special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation to House Democrats, CNN reports.
The Justice Department asked the court to block a lower court ruling that cleared the grand jury materials in the Mueller probe to be handed over to the House of Representatives.
The lower court ruled in March that the Judiciary Committee had a “compelling need” to review the redacted information cited in Mueller’s report.
"The government respectfully requests that this Court grant a stay of the court of appeals' mandate," Solicitor General Noel Francisco said in a filing to the Supreme Court on Thursday.
The case could take months to resolve and perhaps stretch until after the election.
DOJ argues the House doesn’t need the docs:
The DOJ argued that the House’s investigation does not qualify as a “judicial proceeding,” which is one scenario in which grand jury materials are sometimes released.
"Absent a stay of the court's mandate, the government will have to disclose those materials on May 11, 2020, which would irrevocably lift their secrecy and possible frustrate the government's ability to seek further review," the DOJ filing said.
House trying to get docs for months:
The House first went to court to demand the documents in July, before the impeachment proceedings against Trump. Although Trump was ultimately acquitted, the House told a lower court that their investigation is ongoing and grand jury materials would clarify whether Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller investigation.
“The current pandemic notwithstanding, the Committee’s investigation is not ‘dormant.’ The Committee continues to exercise its investigative and oversight responsibilities; its staff are ready and able to review the requested grand jury materials as soon as they are provided by DOJ; and the Committee remains able to convene formal hearings to further its investigation,” Democrats said in a recent filing.