The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a bid by President Donald Trump’s administration to avoid disclosing to a Democratic-led congressional panel grand jury materials related to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report documenting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Reuters reports that the justices are due to hear the case in their next term, which starts in October, meaning the dispute is unlikely to be resolved before the Nov. 3 election in which the Republican president is seeking a second four-year term in office. In the meantime, the materials will not be handed over to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, which issued a subpoena for them last year.
The justices took up the administration’s appeal of a March ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that material must be given to lawmakers.
Mueller submitted his report to U.S. Attorney General William Barr in March 2019 after a 22-month investigation that detailed Russian hacking and propaganda efforts to boost Trump’s candidacy as well as multiple contacts between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
Barr, a Trump appointee who Democrats have accused of trying to protect the president politically, released Mueller’s 448-page report in April 2019 with some parts redacted. Democrats have expressed concern that Barr used the redaction process to keep potentially damaging information about Trump secret.
The redactions were made, according to Barr, in part to protect the customary secrecy of grand jury materials.
The Judiciary Committee last year subpoenaed the redacted grand jury material as part of a bid by Democrats to build a case for removing Trump from office through impeachment. The House impeached Trump in December on two charges unrelated to Russian election meddling. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him and left him in office in February.