‘What may come of this investigation — if anything — remains unknown and unpredictable…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) The Department of Justice told a federal judge last week not to grant the House Judiciary Committee access to material collected during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The committee filed a petition in court two months ago asking for access to secret grand jury material in order to determine whether to move forward with a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
But the DOJ argued the Democratic Party hasn’t yet decided if it wants a formal impeachment inquiry, according to Politico.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler, has “come nowhere close to demonstrating a particularized need” for the confidential material, the DOJ said.
And “most prominently, the Speaker of the House has been emphatic that the investigation is not a true impeachment proceeding.”
“And the House Majority Leader had even explained that branding the Committee’s proceeding as ‘impeachment’ is a simply a device to enhance the Committee’s legal arguments in this and other courts,” the DOJ continued. “What may come of this investigation — if anything — remains unknown and unpredictable.”
In response to the DOJ, Nadler reiterated that the committee has only one intent: to determine whether the House should move forward with impeachment.
“We have been very clear the last several months in filings into with the court, in public statements, in official statements in the committee that we are conducting an investigation with the purpose, among other things, of determining whether to report articles of impeachment to the entire House,” he told CNN.
But the DOJ said that even if House Democrats did plan on moving forward with legitimate impeachment proceedings, it still wouldn’t merit an exception for grand jury secrecy.
“[I]mpeachment proceedings in Congress — including hypothetical removal proceedings in the Senate — are not ‘judicial proceedings’ under the plain and ordinary meaning of that term,” the DOJ wrote to the court.
Nadler accelerated the committee’s impeachment efforts last week by issuing a new set of guidelines that lay out the parameters for its investigations.
Still, the Democratic establishment in the House refuses to get on board.
“Their imaginary impeachment is going nowhere,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.