A federal judge on Wednesday, Aug. 14, rejected the House Judiciary Committee’s request to link two lawsuits it argued are central to the House impeachment against President Donald Trump.
The two lawsuits related to material from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn should be considered together and decided by the same judge, the committee argued, because both arose from Mueller’s probe and “both seek key evidence” for the committee’s investigation.
But D.C. federal District Chief Judge Beryl Howell, an appointee of President Barack Obama, ruled that the connections between the two cases “are too superficial and attenuated.”
“The House Judiciary Committee has failed to meet its burden that departure from the practice of random case assignment is warranted,” she wrote.
Howell also said that the House’s request to join the two cases would raise “the potential for manipulation of the ordinary rule of random assignment.”
“Judicial efficiency is not served where two cases present such different factual and legal issues, as is the circumstance here,” she continued.
The ruling threw cold water on the House Democrats as they want to expedite the impeachment proceedings.
Howell’s opinion aligned with the Justice Department’s filing issued on Tuesday, Aug. 13, in which the Justice Department accused the Democrats of trying to game the system as they attempted to search for a preferred judge, according to the Politico.
Howell has been assigned to the House’s grand jury petition and the case involving McGahn’s testimony was randomly assigned to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an appointee of President Obama.