And when the Supreme Court says not so fast, it really means settle in for a good long wait. House Democrats won two lower-court decisions on their demand to unseal grand jury testimony in Robert Mueller’s special-counsel probe into the defunct Russia-collusion allegation, but an appeal by the Department of Justice won a stay at the high court. That could mean that the records will be frozen until well past the November election:
The Supreme Court temporarily denied a motion Wednesday from House Democrats to obtain grand-jury testimony and other documents from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as they conduct what they’ve referred to as an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation” into President Trump.
The court’s order kept undisclosed details from the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election out of the Democrats’ hands until at least early summer. Democrats have until June 1 to brief the court about whether the full case should be heard.
The Democrats had told the court Monday they were in an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation” while arguing that Mueller’s now-completed Russia probe needed to be turned over as a result.
“The [House Judiciary] Committee’s investigation did not cease with the conclusion of the impeachment trial,” the Democrats told the nine justices. “If this material reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the articles adopted by the House, the committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment.”
The stay comes in a terse, one-paragraph order that allows the DoJ until June 1 to formally appeal the earlier rulings. Assuming that William Barr takes up that invitation, which he surely will, then all that is needed is three other justices to grant cert. Given the extraordinary nature of the House demand to crack the secrecy of grand-jury proceedings, there is no chance that this will get denied. Once cert is granted, the stay will remain in effect until the case gets decided.