Supreme Court to hear dispute over Democrats' access to Mueller materials

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to take up the dispute over House Democrats' access to redacted grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s Russia probe.

The court is expected to hear the case in its next term, which begins in October, meaning any newly redacted material would likely not be made public until after the November elections.

The decision to grant the appeal means at least four of the court's nine justices agreed to hear the dispute, with a decision due by the end of the court's term in June 2021.

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition last month asking the justices to overturn a lower court that ordered the department to hand over secret transcripts and exhibits that the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee initially sought in its impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE.

The justices previously granted the Trump administration’s request to halt the disclosure order, which a divided three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued in March, to allow time for an appeal.

In its filing last month, DOJ lawyers urged the justices to take up the case and to prevent an unwarranted breach of grand jury secrecy.

"In light of the national prominence of this grand-jury investigation, the separation-of-powers concerns raised by the decision below, and the potential damage that decision could inflict on 'the proper functioning of our grand jury system,' this Court’s review is warranted," they wrote.

Democrats have long argued the additional information would provide a more complete picture of Mueller’s findings related to Trump’s alleged obstruction of the former special counsel as well as his 2016 campaign’s interactions with Russian government officials.

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBy questioning Barr, Democrats unmasked their policy of betrayal Chris Wallace: Barr hearing 'an embarrassment' for Democrats: 'Just wanted to excoriate him' Apple posts blowout third quarter MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement on Thursday that he was disappointed by the court’s "decision to prolong this case further," adding that he is confident Democrats will prevail.

"In every administration before this one, DOJ has cooperated with the Judiciary Committee’s requests for grand jury materials relating to investigations of impeachable offenses. Attorney General Barr broke from that practice, and DOJ’s newly invented arguments against disclosure have failed at every level," Nadler said.

“Unfortunately, President Trump and Attorney General Barr are continuing to try to run out the clock on any and all accountability," he added. "While I am confident their legal arguments will fail, it is now all the more important for the American people to hold the President accountable at the ballot box in November.”

At the conclusion of his nearly two-year probe in March 2019, Mueller did not establish that the Trump campaign criminally coordinated with Moscow. He declined to say if the president obstructed justice, but Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump: Yates either lying or grossly incompetent Trump administration awarding M in housing grants to human trafficking survivors Trump stokes conspiracy about Epstein death, stands by wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell MORE and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation Graham releases newly declassified documents on Russia probe MORE concluded he had not.

In March, a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 that the House's impeachment inquiry was a justified basis to request the sealed documents.

Updated at 11:27 a.m.