Democrats Gain Access To Mueller Grand Jury Evidence

Reopened October 2019 - includes archived threads from pre-2019

Democrats Gain Access To Mueller Grand Jury Evidence

Postby toucana on October 26th, 2019, 4:48 am 

The House Judiciary Committee has won access to the grand jury evidence behind special counsel Robert Mueller’s report about Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

In an unusually lengthy 75 page decision, US district Judge Beryl Howell granted the committee’s request for the grand jury evidence and also endorsed the argument that the current House impeachment enquiry was an entirely valid legal process. A ruling that fatally undercuts attempts by president Trump and his lawyers to dimiss it as ‘phony’ or ‘sham’.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y, had argued that the panel needed to review the evidence that Attorney General William Barr redacted from the report in order to review possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump during Mueller’s investigation.

But the Justice Department had argued that the committee wasn’t entitled to grand jury evidence, which typically remains secret, because the panel failed to explain how the access would help its investigation. The White House has refused to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry for lack of a House vote to authorize it.

The DOJ now has 5 days until 30th October in which to supply the redacted material to the House Judiciary Committee. After the review, the committee could submit further requests for additional grand jury material, Howell said in a two page ruling.
"The White House’s stated policy of non-cooperation with the impeachment inquiry weighs heavily in favor of disclosure," Howell wrote. "Congress’s need to access grand jury material relevant to potential impeachable conduct by a President is heightened when the Executive Branch willfully obstructs channels for accessing other relevant evidence."
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Re: Democrats Gain Access To Mueller Grand Jury Evidence

Postby charon on October 26th, 2019, 9:13 am 

I don't understand the US system. No one seems to be in charge. It just seems like a continual battle between the two sides.

Isn't there an overseeing authority that says 'This is what goes irrespective of party'? Doesn't seem so.

Mueller's Grand Jury evidence - or anything else of that ilk in an important case - should be totally available to all sides. Obviously. And any action or decision taken by the highest authority, in concordance with constitutional law, must be obeyed or else. Like the justice system for everybody else.

Otherwise there's lawless chaos, which is plainly what we see most of the time now.
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Re: Democrats Gain Access To Mueller Grand Jury Evidence

Postby TheVat on October 26th, 2019, 9:58 am 

Like button was struck by accident. Not that I disliked the post.

The inquiry phase is more akin to a prosecutorial phase with a grand jury, so there is no obligation to show all discovery materials to a defense. That happens when an indictment comes down and there is a trial. However, with a congressional inquiry, members of both parties sit on these committees and are given equal time, so much of this protest from GOP was pure theatrics. Also, there will be a public phase in the House impeachment process, when all relevant testimony will be given before the entire Congress, so, again, all the protest is based on a false notion of secrecy. And the actual trial phase, in the Senate, is open.

As for having a final authority on legal matters, that would be the Supreme Court, which is similar to what you Limey folk have. This court, SCOTUS, interprets the Constitution as it applies to contested lower court decisions.

The overall system consists of a "balance of powers," which prevents the formation of an authoritarian government like a dictatorship.
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Re: Democrats Gain Access To Mueller Grand Jury Evidence

Postby charon on October 26th, 2019, 12:08 pm 

Hi, Vat -

Well, first of all I'm quite fond of you Yankee types, I play music with them and I've got friends in the States. I'm also not that interested in politics. Otoh, one keeps up with the news as any sensible person should.

I hear what you say and I'm sure there's a good raison d'etre for it all. Can't really criticise anyway, given what Boris is up to. Man seems to be a law to himself, and mostly getting away with it too.

I can only say that the impression I get is this constant sniping at each other, back-biting, withholding evidence, playing games with the timing of it, telling lies, pulling strokes... you know, like a constant scrap. Like Boris, it seems to straddle the line between legal and illegal, moral and immoral. Not that things were perfect before, but there seemed to be more a sense of quietness and order. Generally, anyway. Now it just seems like everyone's in charge - which means no one is - and doing whatever they like.

That Kavanaugh thing was incredible. It wasn't a court but they had lawyers, prosecution, witnesses, evidence... but it wasn't a court. A lot of the speakers used their time to grandstand and make speeches on their personal opinions. And in the end (quite rightly, because there was zero evidence against him) he got in.

Sorry, I'm not attacking America at all but there is this sense of real, and occasionally uncontrolled, internal war all the time.

As you say, we have a supreme court too. They recently ruled that what Boris did with Parliament and the monarch was contrary to democracy and illegal. Well, usually after a ruling like that by a court, the next step is retribution... but there wasn't anything. Nothing, silence, so he just kept grinning and carrying on regardless. Incredible.

So at what point does SCOTUS step in and say 'Enough, we will have order' - and mean it. That would be good.

Talking about dictatorship, both Trump and Boris are already mini-dictators. It's only what little there is left of the system that prevents it as far as I can see.

Putin must be laughing his head off!
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