A federal judge ruled that House Democrats are engaging in an official impeachment investigation, which means that the White House has no grounds to block witnesses and testimony.
NBC News reported:
Beryl Howell, the chief judge for the Washington, D.C. circuit court, ordered DOJ to turn over the materials by Wednesday, Oct. 30.
“The Department of Justice claims that existing law bars disclosure to the Congress of grand jury information,” Howell wrote. “DOJ is wrong.”
The judge also found that despite public protestations from the Trump administration that House Democrats have not actually launched a formal impeachment inquiry, one is underway.”
The judge also said:
More from Judge Beryll Howell’s strongly worded, 75-page opinion: “Congress’s need to access grand jury material relevant to potential impeachable conduct by a President is heightened when the Executive Branch willfully obstructs channels for accessing other relevant evidence.”
— Kristine Phillips (@kristinegWP) October 25, 2019
Trump’s main defense of his obstruction of the impeachment investigation has been that House Democrats haven’t taken an official vote, so the impeachment investigation wasn’t real and he was within his rights to withhold documents and block witness testimony.
That defense has been blown to pieces in court.
The blacked-out sections of the Mueller report being turned over to Congress are important, but what is more vital to the impeachment process is that the DOJ doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to grand jury documents and testimony.
The Ukraine scandal has already gone criminal with Rudy Giuliani under criminal investigation, and his associates locked up. Any grand jury testimony is those matters could end up being used by Democrats in Trump’s impeachment.
Just in time for public impeachment hearings, Trump’s defense shattered.
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