House is prevented by Supreme Court from viewing Mueller’s grand jury documents until hearing

The move means the documents are unlikely to be released before the November election, even if Democrats win the case.

The court measure is a victory for the Justice Department, which seeks to prevent the disclosure of the information, which includes parts of the Mueller’s report that were drafted to protect grand jury information and underlying grand jury testimony and evidence. that are related to certain people and events. .

The case is a major separation of powers fight, testing the Department of Justice’s ability to control grand jury information based on a deeply political and historical investigation it conducted that could also aid Congressional investigations.

The grand jury materials in question could shed considerable light on the meddling of the Russian elections and Trump’s response in 2016. Dozens of witnesses testified before the Mueller grand jury, according to CNN reports, including the former campaign chairman of Trump, Paul Manafort, and at least two people who attended the Trump Tower Meeting in the summer of 2016.

House Democrats told judges that any delay would threaten the committee’s ability to complete its investigation during the current Congress.

The timeline could effectively kill the effort to obtain the documents, said Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

“Even if the court listens to the arguments in November, it is unlikely that it will make a decision before January 3, 202, when this Congress and this case ends with it,” Vladeck said.

A federal appeals court in March sided with the House Judiciary Committee, saying lawmakers had a “dire need” to see the secret details.

Douglas Letter, general counsel to the House of Representatives, said the materials were necessary as the house continues to investigate the impeachment, despite the fact that it seems extremely unlikely that the House will impeach Trump a second time.

But Attorney General Noel Francisco told judges that while there are some exceptions to the law that allow grand jury materials to be released pursuant to a “court proceeding,” possible impeachment proceedings do not qualify.

He urged the judges to take up the case “In light of the national prominence of this grand jury investigation, the separation of powers concerns raised by the decision below, and the potential harm that decision might inflict on the smooth operation of our grand jury system. ”

This story has been updated with additional details of the case.