BREAKING: Judge deals huge blow to Democrats in Trump impeachment efforts
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A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday shot down an attempt by House Judiciary Committee Democrats to link their subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn to a separate request for secret grand jury information from the Russia investigation after the Justice Department accused them of trying to “game the system.”
Normally cases are assigned to judges randomly, which the DOJ said is meant to keep parties from “attempting to game the system” by “shopping” for a judge they like. But in a Tuesday court filing, the department alleged the Democrat-controlled committee was trying to do exactly that by exploiting an exception that allows “related” cases to be heard by the same judge. In this case, the DOJ said the panel improperly sought to connect the McGahn case to the grand jury case simply because they’re both part of their investigation of President Trump.
The article goes on to state the following:
“[A]t first blush, the House Judiciary Committee’s view that the related case rule applies is understandable,” D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell wrote in her order rejecting the bid. “Nonetheless, closer examination demonstrates that these connections between the two cases are too superficial and attenuated for the instant McGahn Subpoena Case to qualify[.]”
Howell, who is currently assigned to the grand jury case, agreed with the DOJ’s argument that the committee’s request to unseal secret grand jury information from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has to do with the application of the law under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, while the McGahn case is a civil matter dealing with enforcing a subpoena where immunity has been asserted.
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Last week, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler had tweeted out the following announcement:
As we said in our filing, McGahn is the Committee’s most critical witness. His refusal to testify is depriving us of information that is essential to our investigation and impedes our ability to exercise Article I functions, including whether to recommend articles of impeachment.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) August 7, 2019
#NEW: A federal judge rules against House Democrats request to have the Mueller grand jury evidence and McGahn testimony cases decided by the same judge as part of their impeachment investigation into Pres. Trump. #OANN pic.twitter.com/xRhmuA1SvE
— Jennifer Franco (@jennfranconews) August 14, 2019
Nadler’s request was shot down on Wednesday:
Chief Judge Beryl Howell: “The potential for manipulation of the ordinary rule of random assignment would be particularly acute if the House Judiciary Committee could relate any matter arising from its ongoing investigation to a single judge on this Court…”
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) August 14, 2019
Update: The Don McGahn subpoena fight has now been randomly assigned to US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson pic.twitter.com/ZqTuB8pRP4
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) August 14, 2019
The President called Mr. McGahn at home and told him that Special Counsel Mueller should be removed.
This is one of the five instances of obstruction that are clearly criminal.
We must speak to Mr. McGahn about the President’s criminally obstructive behavior. https://t.co/tjcAnXuexO
— Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (@RepDean) August 7, 2019
NEW: The House Judiciary Committee has filed its suit to enforce the subpoena of former WH counsel Don McGahn, arguing it needs his testimony to determine whether to take up articles of impeachment against Trump, w/ @mkraju @kpolantz https://t.co/yfCg0E6nIW
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) August 7, 2019
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