• Directory of Taiwan

Appeals court weighs Mueller grand jury access for Congress

Appeals court weighs Mueller grand jury access for Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in Congress are seeking access to secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, arguing in court Friday that it's relevant to President Donald Trump's impeachment and could even be a basis for additional accusations against him.

A three-judge panel that heard the argument, including a Trump appointee, appeared divided and did not immediately rule.

At issue is whether House Democrats can obtain grand jury testimony outlined in Mueller's 448-page report, which examined the Trump campaign's ties to Russia and whether the president sought to obstruct that investigation. The Justice Department appealed a judge's order from the fall directing it to produce that material.

A Justice Department lawyer on Friday said the grand jury material bore no relevance to the impeachment inquiry, which centers on Trump's efforts to press his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate a political rival and concerns activities that occurred after the Mueller investigation had concluded.

“The House has now adopted two articles of impeachment that have nothing to do with this case," Mark Freeman told the court.

But Douglas Letter, the House's general counsel, argued that the Russia material is on point, given the momentous stakes of deciding a president's fate in impeachment proceedings. “There's nothing more important than determining whether the president of the United States should remain the president of the United States," he said.

Updated : 2021-06-18 17:52 GMT+08:00