The Trump Justice Department is frantically trying to keep House investigators from seeing grand-jury materials from the Mueller investigation. That case is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, after a lower court ruled that the House should have access to the information.
House general counsel Douglas Letter told the court that the House is investigating, in part, whether Trump lied to Mueller: “Did the president lie? Was the president not truthful in his responses to the Mueller investigation?” But that might be exactly a reason for the current three-judge appeals court panel, which includes a Trump appointee and a George W. Bush appointee, to get in the way of the investigation.
In the decision now under appeal, federal district Judge Beryl Howell wrote that “In carrying out the weighty constitutional duty of determining whether impeachment of the president is warranted, Congress need not redo the nearly two years of effort spent on the Special Counsel’s investigation, nor risk being misled by witnesses, who may have provided information to the grand jury and the Special Counsel that varies from what they tell” the House.
The Justice Department, acting fully on Trump’s behalf as is Attorney General William Barr’s usual practice, is arguing against a Watergate-era precedent that impeachment proceedings are exempt from grand-jury secrecy.