A congressional group, which is responsible for administering justice through judicial and regulatory avenues, is taking legal action against a law enforcement agency to impeach the president again.
The House Committee on the Judiciary has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to order the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release secret grand jury documents, which the Democratic Party believes would help verify allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 general election.
“This case involves the correctness of an order by Chief Judge Howell (based in part on an exercise of her discretion) for disclosure to the House Committee on the Judiciary of a limited set of grand jury materials for use in the committee’s ongoing presidential impeachment investigation,” the application for stay of the mandate of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said.
Co-signed by 10 applicants from the Office of General Counsel and Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, the statement also criticized the DOJ for delaying the documents from being released for more than 12 months, despite a court order to release them more than six months ago.
“DOJ does not meet the standard for a stay of the mandate pending disposition of its petition for a writ of certiorari, and its application for a stay should therefore be denied,” the statement said. “The committee and the public continue to suffer grave and irreparable injury each additional day the district court’s order is prevented from going into effect. The committee is being deprived of the information it needs to exercise its weighty constitutional responsibility.”
If Democrats are successful in their application, the information could be used to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time before the current congressional term ends in early 2021.
“If DOJ’s request for a stay is granted, DOJ need not file its certiorari petition until August 2020, and therefore this court likely would not determine whether to grant or deny that petition until at least October 2020,” the statement said. “This substantial delay will seriously endanger the committee’s ability to complete its impeachment investigation during the current Congress—which ends not long thereafter on Jan. 3, 2021.”
The Senate previously acquitted the president of House Democrat allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Feb. 5, 2020. A lengthy Senate trial found no incriminating evidence of wrongdoing that would support the claims, resulting in a majority of senators voting against removing the incumbent president from the Oval Office.