A federal judge ruled on Oct. 25 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) must turn over grand jury material from special counsel Robert Muellers case to House Democrats.
The department had argued that existing law barred disclosure of the information to Congress.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, appointed by President Barack Obama, said in the ruling that disclosure of “a matter occurring before a grand jury” is generally prohibited, citing Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (pdf). But exceptions exist, including some “which allow disclosure without any judicial involvement and others of which require either judicial notice or a court order.”
“The D.C. Circuit recently held, in McKeever v. Barr, that the text of the Rule prevents disclosure of a matter appearing [sic] before the grand jury unless these rules provide otherwise,'” Howell wrote (pdf).
“In the D.C. Circuits binding view, deviations from the detailed list of exceptions in Rule 6(e) are not permitted, id. at 846, and thus a district court has no authority outside Rule 6(e) to disclose grand jury matter.'”
The House Judiciary Committees request for disclosure of the grand jury information referenced in or underlying the report from Muellers team and grand jury information collected by the team fall under one of the exceptions, disclosure “preliminary to or in connection with a judicial proceeding,” Howell asserted.
Disclosure of grand jury information is proper under this exception when three requirements are satisfied, the judge said: “The person seeking disclosure must first identify a relevant judicial proceeding within the meaning of Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(i); then, second, establish that the requested disclosure is preliminarily to or in connection with that proceeding; and, finally, show a particularized need for the requested grand jury materials.”
The requisite judicial proceeding is the possible impeachment trial in the Senate of Trump if the House votes to impeach him; the department had argued Read More – Source