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Democrats ask Supreme Court for grand jury evidence in Trump investigation

By
Don Jacobson
President Donald Trump speaks at a roundtable discussion on Monday with leaders of the restaurant industry in the State Dining Room of the White House. Photo by Doug Mills/UPI/Pool
President Donald Trump speaks at a roundtable discussion on Monday with leaders of the restaurant industry in the State Dining Room of the White House. Photo by Doug Mills/UPI/Pool | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- House Democrats have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to gain access to secret grand jury evidence from the Justice Department's Russia investigation to determine if President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses.

In their brief, Democrats of the House judiciary committee said they need to see the grand jury evidence gathered by former special counsel Robert Mueller because it's key to determining whether Trump obstructed justice during the inquiry.

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Mueller said in his report last year his investigation found several "episodes" in which Trump potentially obstructed the investigation.

House general counsel Douglas Letter said the committee's investigation into Trump's activities "is ongoing."

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"If this material reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses ... the committee will proceed accordingly -- including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment," Letter wrote.

Mueller's investigation found no solid evidence that Trump or members of his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but left open the possibility that he worked to sidetrack investigations that followed.

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Monday's filing was a response to a Justice Department request to vacate an appellate court ruling in March that upheld a lower-court finding that Congress has a right to obtain the grand jury materials.

RELATED Supreme Court temporarily blocks release of Mueller grand jury evidence

Letter's brief also suggests the judiciary committee's investigation of potentially impeachable offenses has broadened to include recent actions by Justice Department in cases involving Trump allies Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, each of whom were indicted as a result of the Mueller investigation.

Stone was convicted last fall of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation. In February, four federal prosecutors quit the case after their recommended sentence of nine years was overruled by Justice Department brass following criticism from Trump. Stone was ultimately sentenced to 40 months.

Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a former Russian ambassador. The Justice Department moved to drop the case earlier this month.

RELATED House intelligence committee releases 57 transcripts from Russia probe

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