The Justice Department on Friday disapproved House Judiciary Chairman Nadler’s request for the secret grand jury material in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The Department of Justice told a judge Friday that the House Judiciary Committee should not have access to material collected by secret grand jury during the Russia investigation of the special counsel, even as it weighs whether to pursue impeachment.
Previously, the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee had lodged a petition in federal court to grant access to the grand jury material currently redacted in Mueller’s report.
Nadler argued his panel needed the secret grand jury material to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against President Trump.
In court papers filed at the federal court in Washington, the Department of Justice responded that the committee had not provided sufficient explanation as to how the material would help investigations of President Donald Trump. The government also argued that any potential impeachment proceedings in Congress would not be considered by law as a “judicial proceeding” for which the information could be disclosed.
“What may come of this investigation—if anything—remains unknown and unpredictable,” the department said in the filing.
The Department of Justice also argued that there is a “continuing need for secrecy” regarding recent grand jury proceedings because, according to Friday’s filing, there are still several investigations under way that grew out of Mueller’s probe.
The grand jury information that is blacked out in special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report is only a “tiny percentage” of the document, the government argued.
Mueller concluded he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice. He also concluded there was insufficient evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped short Thursday of saying that the House is prepared to launch an investigation into Trump’s impeachment, even as the Judiciary Committee approved ground rules for impeachment hearings.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press.