A 2-1 ruling from a federal appeals court panel gave House Democrats permission to access the grand jury secrets in Mueller’s report.
The one judge who dissented, Naomi Rao, the only Trump-appointee on the 3-person panel said the lower court does not have the authority to order the DOJ to disclose the redacted portions of Mueller’s report to Congress.
The majority however ruled in favor of the House Dems who are still seeking to damage President Trump with old Deep State Russia smears that have been debunked time and time again.
The 2-1 ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision in favor of the House’s ability to see the deleted passages in the public version of the Mueller report, the 448-page tome that describes the two-year investigation into potential links between Trump’s campaign and Russia. The report, released in April 2019, also examines President Donald Trump’s attempts to stymie the Russia probe.
If it stands, the ruling would give lawmakers access to all the report’s blacked-out words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs and entire pages, as well as underlying interviews and memos cited in Mueller’s review.
Recall, counsel for the House Democrats argued in previous court filing that they may use the information behind the redactions in Mueller’s report to launch a second impeachment against President Trump.
Judge Namoi Rao argued that the Democrats no longer need access to Mueller’s secret evidence since the Senate acquitted Trump on both articles of impeachment last month.
“The Committee can point to no statutory entitlement to this information and the judicial relief it seeks is contrary to historical practice and the separation of powers,” Rao wrote according to Politico.
“A reasonable observer might wonder why we are deciding this case at this time. After all, the Committee sought these materials preliminary to an impeachment proceeding and the Senate impeachment trial has concluded,” Rao wrote. “Why is this controversy not moot? The majority simply turns a blind eye to these very public events.”
To be clear, Tuesday’s ruling does not mean the Democrats will immediately have access to the secret grand jury materials because the DOJ will likely file appeals and the case may go all the way up to the Supreme Court.