The House Judiciary Committee will continue its impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump regardless of the outcome of the Senate trial, according to a federal court filing by House lawyers.
In a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals filing obtained by Politico on Monday, House General Counsel Douglas Letter urged the court to reject the Justice Department's "efforts to insulate the President from Congress's impeachment power" and promptly allow for the "disclosure of grand-jury materials to the House."
Initially, Letter argued that the disclosure of materials connected to former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was urgent because those materials would be "utilized" in the Senate's expected impeachment trial in January. But then, Letter suggested that those materials would be pertinent for the House Judiciary Committee's continuing investigation apart from the Senate trial.
"The committee has continued and will continue [its impeachment] investigations consistent with its own prior statements respecting their importance and purposes," Letter wrote.
The House is expected to hold a floor vote Wednesday on the two articles of impeachment leveled against Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In January, the Senate will then take up the impeachment trial, where a two-thirds vote is needed to remove the president.
Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee has long held that Trump's alleged obstruction of justice during Mueller's nearly two-year probe into Russian election interference would prove consequential to the impeachment inquiry, The Hill reported. They believe that grand jury materials from the probe are pertinent for the Democrats' case against the president.
According to Politico, Monday's filing indicates that Democrats aim to retain the option of charging Trump with obstruction of justice based on Mueller probe materials even following the conclusion of the House's impeachment process this week and apart from the Senate's activity.
Basically, if you thought the Senate impeachment trial would be the end of the impeachment saga — one way or the other — you will likely be wrong.