Speaks, the game just changed and a federal judge is viewing Mueller's lack of indictment as empowering the House in their impeachment endeavors. And she just obliterated both the DOJ and White House for their whack views on law and impeachment:
U.S. judge orders Mueller grand jury materials released to House Judiciary Committee in impeachment inquiryBarr better hurry, his time is almost up because Trump's time is almost up.
Howell said the the DOJ's interpretation of the law was "wrong."
"In carrying out the weighty constitutional duty of determining whether impeachment of the President is warranted, Congress need not redo the nearly two years of effort spent on the Special Counsel's investigation, nor risk being misled by witnesses, who may have provided information to the grand jury and the Special Counsel that varies from what they tell HJC," she said.
In court, the House argued that its Mueller-related investigation was part of an impeachment inquiry. That claim came before Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly sanctioned the current impeachment push that's focused on the President's recent dealings with Ukraine.
"The White House's stated policy of non-cooperation with the impeachment inquiry weighs heavily in favor of disclosure," she said alluding to the blanket ban the White House Counsel's office recently imposed on administration officials participating with the impeachment probe.
She cited the White House Counsel's letter to argue that claims of accommodation made by DOJ in the case "smack of farce."
"The reality is that DOJ and the White House have been openly stonewalling the House's efforts to get information by subpoena and by agreement, and the White House has flatly stated that the Administration will not cooperate with congressional requests for information," she said.
She also noted that some of the Justice Department's previous arguments doubting the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry were now moot with Pelosi's public embrace of it.
Howell said that the House's impeachment inquiry clearly fits within the category of "judicial proceedings" within the grand jury secrecy law's list of reasons that grand jury materials may be disclosed.
The Justice Department had argued that the House's impeachment inquiry did not in fact satisfy as a "judicial proceeding" " a claim Howell said Friday "raises constitutional concerns. "
Howell, quoting Mueller's report, noted that DOJ policy barring indictments of sitting President "prompted the Special Counsel to abstain from mak[ing] a traditional prosecutorial judgment' or otherwise draw[ing] ultimate conclusions about the President's conduct.'"
"This leaves the House as the only federal body that can act on allegations of presidential misconduct," she said. "Yet, under DOJ's reading of Rule 6(e), the Executive Branch would be empowered to wall off any evidence of presidential misconduct from the House by placing that evidence before a grand jury."
Howell also dismantled arguments by the Justice Department and the top Judiciary Committee Republican claiming that the impeachment inquiry was illegitimate because it was not opened with a resolution approved by the full house House.
"Even were this statement accurate, which it is not, the manner in which the House has chosen to conduct impeachment inquiries encompasses more than past Presidents and no sound legal or constitutional reason has been presented to distinguish the House's exercise of impeachment authority for a President from the exercise of such authority more generally," Howell said, noting that several impeachment inquiries for judges have been launched without a House vote.
"Even in cases of presidential impeachment, a House resolution has never, in fact, been required to begin an impeachment inquiry," she said.