Judicial blow to Trump in "isolation crisis" .. A big victory for Democrats[/rtl]
[rtl]Date: 2019/10/26 8:26 • 146 times read[/rtl]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A US judge on Friday approved the legality of the Democratic-led impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump, and ordered his administration to hand over an unedited copy of former investigator Robert Mueller's report detailing Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
In a major victory for the Democratic-led House of Representatives, Judge Pearl Howell rejected the Republican defense, which criticized the Trump accountability inquiry, saying the House does not need to approve a formal decision to start the investigation.
The US Constitution gives the House of Representatives broad freedom to deal with accountability, and Democrats began the investigation without putting a resolution on the matter to vote.
The judge gave the Justice Department until October 30 to hand over parts of the Muller report to the House Judiciary Committee.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the ruling "another blow to President Trump's attempt to bring himself above the law."
The Justice Department had argued that the information withheld was not disclosed because it contained information from a jury procedure that needed to be kept confidential, but the judge strongly rejected it.
"The Justice Department is wrong," Hoyle said, adding that the committee's need to disclose the material "outweighs the need to keep it confidential."
Withholding evidence from a jury on accountability, the Justice Department says, undermines the House of Representatives' ability to adequately fulfill its constitutional responsibility.
Democrats asked for access to the information withheld in their efforts to prepare Trump's removal