On Wednesday, the Supreme Court made the decision to temporarily block the release of the full and un-redacted Mueller Report to Congress. This report describes the findings of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The House Judiciary Committee has attempted to obtain the documents that Mueller’s prosecutors gathered from witnesses about President Donald Trump and the battle over subpoena power continues between the White House and Congress. Although the full report was released, portions of it were redacted in order to protect information regarding the grand jury as well as testimonies from individuals who also testified in front of the House of Representatives. The House Democrats say they must view the un-redacted version of the report, as well as the testimonies so they can compare statements various witnesses made in the investigation and in front of the House. However, some redacted portions of the report contain information regarding the portion of the investigation that focused on supposed collusion between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
Earlier this month, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) requested for the Supreme Court to halt the release of the full report in order to give both themselves and the White House more time to write an official full repeal of an earlier ruling by an appeals court. The Washington Court of Appeals required the redacted portions of the report to be released, stating that the House had a, “compelling need” to view the details that have been kept secret for so long. The House Committee members told the appeals court that despite the November impeachment and February Senate acquittal, “the committee’s impeachment investigation related to obstruction of justice pertaining to the Russia investigation is ongoing.” Committee members also wrote that seeing the redactions was a crucial part of the case to bear whether or not the President “committed impeachable offences by obstructing the FBI’s and Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and his possible motivations for doing so.”
In a brief to the Supreme Court, the House Committee says it is, “investigating the possible exercise of improper political influence over recent decisions made in the Roget Stone and Michael Flynn prosecutions, both of which were initiated by the special counsel.” The brief also stated that it has evolved with recent events including the following; the DOJ’s obvious mercy for the sentencing of Roger Stone, a well-known ally to President Trump who was convicted of perjury and intimidation of witnesses, and Attorney General Barr’s request to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn after he had pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Michael Flynn is the former National Security Advisor and Trump campaign aide.
The Supreme Court gave a deadline of June 1st to file a petition seeking to review the previous courts decision, although imminent hearings could delay the release of the full report until after the November election.