Press group files FOIA request for Mueller grand jury materials

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request Monday for the release of grand jury materials used in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s report on his investigation into Russia's election interference.

The press group is seeking a court order that would authorize public release of any grand jury material “cited, quoted or referenced” in the report, which Mueller submitted to Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham Barr DOJ says surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Page lacked evidence Senators press DHS over visa approval for Pensacola naval base shooter Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments MORE on March 22.

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Barr has said he cannot release an unredacted version of the report because the grand jury content is subject to a federal statute tied to criminal procedure.

But the Reporters Committee argues that the court should allow the release of those portions of the report due to the “historical significance and overwhelming public interest” in the full report.

“The exceptions to the federal grand jury secrecy rules, multiple precedents, the First Amendment and the public interest all support releasing the Mueller report in full given the extraordinary circumstances of this matter and the need to ensure public confidence in the results of this investigation,” Theodore Boutrous Jr., an attorney representing the press group, said in a statement Monday.

“The American people deserve to see and scrutinize the full contents of the report so they can evaluate for themselves the threats to our electoral system from Russian interference and make their own judgments about whether the president and his campaign coordinated with Russia or obstructed justice,” he added.

Reporters Committee Legal Director Katie Townsend said, “The public is entitled to see as much of the Mueller report, unredacted, as possible."

The FOIA request came the same day that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler calls Trump a 'dictator' on Senate floor Poll: Majority think Senate should call witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Susan Collins asked Justice Roberts to intervene after Nadler late-night 'cover-up' accusation MORE (D-N.Y.) announced his panel will vote Wednesday to authorize a subpoena for Mueller’s full report.