Attorney General William Barr got rebuked by a federal appeals court Tuesday and has been ordered to turn over all grand jury materials from the investigation conducted by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“The appeals panel sided with an earlier ruling from the chief judge of the DC District Court, who had roundly criticized the Justice Department’s legal theories to keep the Mueller materials under seal and who had endorsed the House’s investigation into President Trump. The appeals court agreed that the House Judiciary Committee has a ‘compelling need’ to view the secretive details prosecutors had collected from witnesses and about the President.”
The three judge appellate court ruled 2-1 that the Department of Justice must hand all grand jury materials as part of ongoing investigations being conducted by House committees. Interestingly, however, the lone Trump appointee on the court, Neomi Rao, dissented from the other judges.
Rao’s dissent was addressed by Judge Thomas Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee, who wrote in response to Rao:
“Taken to its logical conclusion, the dissent’s theory would seem to require outright dismissal of this case—a result that the dissent agrees is contrary to history and precedent.”
Judge Griffith also accused Rao of attempting to chase jurisdictional phantoms in an attempt to keep the Mueller grand jury materials from Congress, which has every legal right to review them.
Even though the administration will likely appeal the case to the Supreme Court, today’s ruling is yet another sign that federal courts will not allow Barr to hide relevant materials just so he can protect the president. Apparently, Barr has forgotten that his client is the Constitution, not Donald Trump. But the courts are reminding him he has no right to act in such a manner.
But perhaps most frightening for Trump is that the Supreme Court may hear an expedited appeal to this latest ruling and demand the information be given to the House Judiciary Committee within the next couple of months, which is then free to discuss them in open session. That could be incredibly damaging to both Barr and Trump.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote:
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Justice will win out no matter what obstacles Donald Trump or his protectors attempt to place in its path.