House committee says it has ‘urgent’ need for Mueller docs

Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation
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April 18, 2019: A redacted version of Mueller's report was released to Congress and the public. The report states that Mueller was unable to clear the president on obstruction, but did say there was no evidence of collusion with Russia.

The House Judiciary Committee argued to a federal judge on Tuesday it has an “urgent” need for access to grand jury secrets from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The Trump administration had appealed a decision giving the House access to the details by Thursday and is asking the courts to step in to pause the handover of grand jury transcripts, exhibits and currently redacted details in the Mueller report.

“The public interest demands a swift but thorough impeachment investigation,” the House wrote in its filing Tuesday. “Delay, in this case, would not only hinder the House’s ability to consider impeachment quickly, but also enhance DOJ’s ability to run out the clock on the committee’s impeachment inquiry altogether.”

The House argues it wants to see the details both for its Ukraine impeachment investigation and in examining whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct the Russia investigation, which Mueller thoroughly investigated.

Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court, after rejecting the Justice Department’s arguments to keep the grand jury details from the House last Friday, hasn’t yet decided if the delivery of the information should be paused past Thursday.

The Justice Department has separately asked the appeals court to step in and prevent the disclosure, noting that the House agreed to a week-long pause as the appeals process begins.

“The district court’s artificially compressed five-day timeline for disclosure, entered without explanation, needlessly creates irreparable harm by requiring disclosure before appellate review could be obtained,” the Justice Department wrote on Monday.