The battle to access the full Mueller report is raging in Congress. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena to require Attorney General William Barr to provide Mueller’s full, 400-page, unredacted report of his investigation. However, in a recent decision, McKeever v. Barr, the court “reaffirmed the principle of grand jury secrecy and concluded that a court has no ‘inherent power’ to release grand jury information.” This decision could give Barr a plausible basis to resist the subpoena and to continue his cover up of vital information due to Congress and the American people.
In a recent op-ed, Philip Allen Lacovara, former counsel to the Watergate special prosecutor and Larry Tribe, a law professor at Harvard Law School, argues that the strongest legal recourse available to the House is to open an impeachment inquiry.
Lacovara draws a parallel with Nixon’s impeachment, explaining:
During the Watergate investigation, the special prosecutor working with a grand jury developed a report detailing the evidence tending to show that President Richard M. Nixon had committed various federal crimes, including obstruction of justice, that might constitute grounds for impeachment.
He explains that opening a formal impeachment inquiry against Nixon allowed the House Judiciary Committee to bypass the decision of “grand jury secrecy,” and allowed the Committee to access the report and underlying evidence against President Nixon.
Given this history and the challenges facing the House to fully access the Mueller report, the House Judiciary Committee should focus on its strongest argument and start an impeachment inquiry against President Trump now.
As Lacovara and Tribe explain:
Trump’s selection of his new attorney general may prove to be his best line of defense — unless Pelosi revisits her stance and directs the House Judiciary Committee to include impeachment within its investigatory ambit.