The Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request from House Democrats for immediate access to redacted grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s Russia probe.
The justices instead granted the Trump administration's request to continue shielding the secret grand jury transcripts and exhibits, further postponing a lower court’s disclosure order.
The Wednesday order also gave the Justice Department until June 1 to file a formal appeal of the March ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the administration must hand over the materials the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee initially requested as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE.
Democrats say the additional information would provide a more complete picture of Mueller’s findings related to Trump’s alleged obstruction of the special counsel as well as his 2016 campaign’s interactions with Russian government officials.
The unsigned order from the justices provided no reasoning and included no dissents.
It followed a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this month to conceal the documents while it prepared a formal appeal. The DOJ argued that breaching grand jury secrecy would have a chilling effect on future witnesses.
In March, a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit ruled that the House's impeachment inquiry justified its request for the sealed documents.
"The Department has objected to disclosure of the redacted grand jury materials, but the Department has no interest in objecting to the release of these materials outside of the general purposes and policies of grand jury secrecy, which as discussed, do not outweigh the Committee’s compelling need for disclosure," Judge Judith Rogers wrote for the majority.