Check your watches, kids! Turns out it's Impeachment-Thirty after all. Hooray!

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee filed an Application with the US District Court for DC to gain access to the underlying Mueller grand jury information, known to the law dorks as 6(e) material. That's because Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) has long been interpreted to allow for the release of grand jury info incident to a judicial proceeding, such as, just for instance, say, an impeachment inquiry.

In 1974, the DC District Court forced the release of the grand jury's report on Richard Nixon to the Judiciary Committee, and just last September the same court reaffirmed that stance in a related case. So if we want it, we're going to have to use the magic "I" word.

Take it away, Chairman Nadler:

Because Department of Justice policies will not allow prosecution of a sitting President, the United States House of Representatives is the only institution of the Federal Government that can now hold President Trump accountable for these actions. To do so, the House must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article I powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity—approval of articles of impeachment.

That duty falls in the first instance to the House Committee on the Judiciary (the Judiciary Committee or the Committee). As Chairman Nadler recently wrote in a Memorandum issued to all Members of the Committee, "[w]ith regard to the Committee's responsibility to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President, articles of impeachment have already been introduced in this Congress and referred to the Judiciary Committee. They are under consideration as part of the Committee's investigation, although no final determination has been made. In addition, the Committee has the authority to recommend its own articles of impeachment for consideration by the full House of Representatives."

Well, GIDDYUP, Congressman! Time's a-wasting!

Upwards of 100 Democratic representatives, many of whom will have to run for re-election in swing districts they flipped in 2018, have come out in favor of impeachment hearings. But as we build support within the wider caucus, the Judiciary Committee has the authority to draft and consider its own articles of impeachment. That was bolstered by H.R. 430, passed in June, which deputized the Committee to sue for the 6(e) materials and to compel former White House counsel Don McGahn's testimony without a floor vote. Almost like Nancy Pelosi HAS A PLAN. (Or maybe she doesn't. Honestly, who the hell knows at this point!)

Yesterday, Chairman Nadler announced that Judiciary will file suit next week to force McGahn to testify. And, as the Wonk writer tasked with reading every pissy letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and every inane lawsuit arguing that congressional oversight is illegal, everything in the executive branch is privileged, and Congress has no legitimate legislative purpose when it is just doing its damn job, let me just say HURRY THE FUCK UP, PLEASE. The White House's arguments are legally indefensible, and it's not clear why the Judiciary and Oversight committees haven't already filed 10 lawsuits to compel the White House to turn over the Census data on the citizenship question, info on White House security clearances, and force compliance with every other inquiry where Pat Cipollone sent Congress a giant "fuck you" and pretended that normal, congressional oversight is some kind of wild aberration.

Because it's going to take months for courts to finish telling Don McGahn to STFU with his facially bad faith assertion of executive privilege -- or non-assertion, since he couldn't even be bothered to show up in response to a congressional subpoena. But they will do it, after which Annie Donaldson, Hope Hicks, and every other lyin-ass Trumper will fall in line rather than face contempt of court and possible jail time if they don't comply. Michael Cohen got disbarred and sent to prison for lying to Congress -- there is no way on God's green earth that Annie Donaldson, who just had a baby, is going to take the fall for Donald Trump.

Luckily, an ongoing impeachment inquiry only strengthens Judiciary's legal case, and it might expedite it, too by "potentially persuad[ing] judges to move more quickly on cases like the potential one against Mr. McGahn, while building on any momentum generated by Mr. Mueller," according to the New York Times.

So, yeah. This here is progress. KEEP IT COMING!

[Application for Order Authorizing Release of Grand Jury Materials / NYT / WaPo]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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