The Trump “Injustice” Department under the corrupt leadership of Attorney General William “Coverup” Barr continues losing in court with its unconstitutional extremist arguments for an “imperial presidency” unchecked by Congress or the courts.
Politico reports, Judge denies DOJ request for stay on Don McGahn testimony:
House Democrats on Monday notched another legal victory in their pursuit of critical testimony tied to their impeachment efforts, though the ruling may be short-lived because the case is already on temporary hold while it works its way toward an appeal.
U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, in a 17-page opinion, rejected the Justice Department’s request to put a long-term stay on her earlier opinion requiring Don McGahn, the former Trump White House counsel, to appear before the House Judiciary Committee.
Jackson also decided to lift an earlier administrative stay she’d issued that had put her decision briefly on ice while the case moved up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“This Court has no doubt that further delay of the Judiciary Committee’s enforcement of its valid subpoena causes grave harm to both the Committee’s investigation and the interests of the public more broadly,” Jackson wrote.
Expect the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a temporary stay shortly, at least until the expedited appeal from Judge Brown’s opinion and order.
Last week, Jackson decided Trump couldn’t claim “absolute immunity” to prevent his former aides from testifying under oath. But she also later agreed to a seven-day freeze on her opinion to hear out the Justice Department on its arguments for a longer-term hold pending the appeal.
In the meantime, the department has backstopped itself against Jackson’s decision to reject its stay request. It has already secured a Jan. 3 hearing on its appeal before a three-judge panel that includes two appointees of Republican presidents.
It’s also expected to win a longer-term stay of Jackson’s decision through the next month considering that the appellate court did just schedule arguments that would be of little importance if McGahn had already been required to appear.
Also last week, the Justice Department said it would keep on fighting if it lost its requests for a stay at the D.C. Circuit. In a request for an emergency decision from the appellate court, the department said it still had enough time to petition the Supreme Court should it fail to win a reprieve from the D.C. Circuit.
Chief Justice John Roberts would be first to rule on an administrative stay to halt enforcement of the House subpoena against McGahn. But five justices would need to give the OK to grant anything longer than a temporary stay.
As it pushes the McGahn case higher up in court, the “Injustice” Department has insisted that it expects to win on appeal. Last week, it argued that presidential advisers were indeed “absolutely immune” from a congressional subpoena and added that there was no binding ruling from a federal appeals court on this question.
In Jackson’s decision on Monday, she suggested that the department’s chances of winning on appeal were “exceedingly low.” In the meantime, she said the House would suffer given the fast-moving nature of its impeachment proceedings.
“DOJ also does not, and cannot, deny that whatever additional information that the Committee (and the public) might glean from McGahn’s live testimony will be lost if the Judiciary Committee does not have an opportunity to question him prior to any House vote on impeachment,” wrote Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama.
Jackson also took issue with what she called the department’s “disingenuous” argument that the Judiciary Committee wouldn’t be meaningfully harmed by a stay. She noted a separate legal fight that the Justice Department is waging to prevent House Democrats from gaining access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury materials as part of its impeachment probe, including the department’s appeal of another federal court decision ordering up their release.
“Thus, DOJ’s argument here that any further delay will not be harmful to the Judiciary Committee because, in essence, DOJ has already harmed the Committee’s interests by successfully delaying its access to other materials strikes this Court as an unacceptable mischaracterization of the injury at issue,” Jackson wrote.
Oral arguments in the legal battle over House Democrats’ access to the Mueller materials is also slated for Jan. 3, meaning back-to-back court hearings over topics at the center of the impeachment effort.
Democrats are now weighing whether to include articles of impeachment tied to the Mueller report, including one about potential obstruction of justice. [Absolutely!] Their interest in McGahn stems from multiple episodes he described to the special counsel’s investigators where the president tried to either stymie or outright kill the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
What the Trump “Injustice” Department is doing with these legally indefensible claims for purposes of delay is also obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice. Thus is a level of corruption never before witnessed in America, not even during the Watergate or Iran-Contra scandals. Heads need to roll.