Wed, 05 Aug 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a bid by the administration of President Donald Trump to avoid disclosing to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives grand-jury testimony from an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The high court agreed on July 2 to hear the administration's appeal of a lower-court order for the material related to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian meddling to be turned over to the House Judiciary Committee.

The move means the documents won't likely be released before the November 3 presidential election, in which the Republican president is seeking a second four-year term in office.

The House panel has argued it needs the underlying grand-jury material to make its own determinations about Trump's actions as investigators looked into his campaign's involvement with Russians.

In March, a federal appeals court ruled that the material must be disclosed to lawmakers because the committee's need for the material outweighed the Justice Department's interests in keeping the testimony secret.

Mueller's report, issued in April 2019, stopped short of reaching conclusions about Trump's conduct, including whether he obstructed justice.

The report detailed multiple interactions between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, but did not find sufficient evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin to tip the election.

However, large portions of the report were blacked out, including the grand-jury testimony and material that Mueller said could harm ongoing investigations or infringe on the privacy of third parties.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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