A federal appeals court in Washington has issued a stay blocking, for the moment, on the release of redacted grand jury material from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia election interference investigation, Fox News informed.
The three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay pending an appeal from the Justice Department and stated that the ruling should not be “construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion.”
This comes after the U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled Friday that the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee can access all the materials, giving the Justice Department until Wednesday to hand over the redacted pieces of the grand jury material sought by the committee. The Justice Department said that it would submit an appeal to this ruling.
The ruling was a crucial win for Democrats as the House Judiciary Committee begins to tackle articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Mueller found no evidence that Trump conspired with Russia in the 2016 election, but did not come to finding as to whether the President obstructed justice.
Althouth the Mueller investigation is different from the House Intelligence Committee probe related to the President’s recent actions towards Ukraine, potential information in the Mueller grand jury documents could also help the committee craft articles of impeachment – specifically an article related to obstruction of Congress.
Democrats made a request to the department to provide the materials, which were redacted from Mueller’s report, as part of their current impeachment inquiry against the President.
Justice Department lawyers argued at a hearing earlier this month that House Democrats had enough evidence from Mueller’s probe, including copies of summaries of FBI witness interviews.