A foreign-government-owned company that appears to be locked in a subpoena fight with Special Counsel Robert Mueller is taking the battle to the Supreme Court. Mystery firm takes Mueller-linked subpoena fight to Supreme Court:
The identity of the firm and the foreign country at issue remain closely guarded secrets, but POLITICO first reported earlier this year that the dispute appeared to involve Mueller’s prosecutors.
When the case was argued at the D.C. Circuit last week, the courtroom was closed to the public. Court personnel went to unusual lengths to preserve the secrecy, ordering journalists to leave the floor where lawyers were presenting their positions.
The public docket in the appeal offers only bare-bones information about the dispute, containing no identification of the parties or their lawyers. However, on Tuesday, the panel considering the appeal filed a three-page order revealing that the witness fighting the subpoena is a corporation owned by a foreign state.
The three-judge D.C. Circuit panel rejected the firm’s argument that its status as an extension of a foreign government makes it immune from grand jury subpoenas. The judges also said they were not persuaded by the firm’s claims that complying with the subpoena would be violating the law in the company’s home country.
After the order was filed Tuesday, sealed filings continued in the appeals court in what appeared to be a bid to stay the D.C. Circuit’s ruling or appeal it further. On Friday, the appeals court denied a motion from the company. The precise nature of the motion was not disclosed.
The foreign-government-owned company filed an application Saturday to Chief Justice John Roberts asking for a stay of the federal appeals court ruling turning down the company’s effort to block the grand jury subpoena for records.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged FBI, grand jury witness, Special Counsel
POLITICO originally reported in October that Mueller’s team — which is investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russians trying to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump tried impede the ongoing probe — had been dragged into court by a witness battling a grand jury subpoena.
POLITICO discovered the Mueller connection after a reporter sitting in the court’s clerk office overheard a man request a document in the case from the special counsel’s office. The man declined to identify himself or his client when approached by POLITICO.
Since it was filed in August, the sealed case has moved with extreme speed back and forth between the DC District Court and Circuit Court of Appeals.
“At every level, this matter has commanded the immediate and close attention of the judges involved—suggesting that no ordinary witness and no ordinary issue is involved,” former federal prosecutor Nelson W. Cunningham wrote in an op-ed for Politico. He speculated that it is the president, but Trump’s lawyers and Trump himself denied it.
A closed oral argument in the case – known officially as “In re: Grand Jury Subpoena” – was held today under tight security. POLITICO reports, Reporters shooed away as mystery Mueller subpoena fight rages on:
Special counsel Robert Mueller appeared to be locked in a subpoena battle with a recalcitrant witness Friday in a sealed federal appeals courtroom, the latest development in a mystery case that has piqued the curiosity of Mueller-obsessives and scoop-hungry journalists.
Oral arguments in the highly secretive fight played out behind closed doors under tight security. Officials at the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C. even took the extraordinary measure of shutting down to the public the entire fifth floor, where the hearing was taking place.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, personality cult of Trump, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged Department of Justice, grand jury witness, Special Counsel