The House Judiciary Committee, led by chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), is pushing for the release of grand jury details from the Mueller investigation so that it can continue its never-ending impeachment probe of President Donald Trump — even during the coronavirus shutdown.
What's interesting is that the effort comes as House Democrats are delaying a return to Congress amid the pandemic, even while crucial legislation to bring relief to Americans negatively impacted by coronavirus-related shutdowns awaits negotiations.
What are the details?
Douglas Letter, the House attorney hand-picked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), submitted a request to the U.S. Court of Appeals Wednesday on behalf of the Judiciary Committee asking that the court order the release of secret grand jury details by the Friday deadline, CNN reported.
Such details are crucial for the Judiciary Committee's continued investigation into whether or not Trump obstructed the special counsel investigation, Letter argued in the court filing.
Forget the coronavirus: This investigation is "ongoing ... the current pandemic notwithstanding," Letter stated.
"As the Committee informed this Court in December, its investigation into President Trump's misconduct is ongoing, and the grand-jury material will inform its determination whether President Trump committed additional impeachable offenses in obstructing Special Counsel Mueller's investigation and whether to recommend new articles of impeachment," wrote Letter. "This remains true today. The current pandemic notwithstanding, the Committee's investigation is not 'dormant.'"
The Department of Justice has been holding onto the details until it can take the document dispute before the Supreme Court. Should the appeals court deny the Judiciary Committee's request and allow for the Supreme Court review, the court may not take up the case until August.
Though continued investigation into possible impeachment by Trump is deemed by House Democrats as too important to delay over the pandemic, negotiating relief for Americans hurt by the virus is evidently not.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Fox News on Wednesday that it's time for Congress to get back to work, but that Speaker Pelosi "won't call us back."
"Farmers are planting crops, truckers are moving goods, grocers are stocking shelves, and front-line healthcare workers have never stopped working. They've been working every single day throughout this crisis but, somehow, the U.S. Congress can't come back to work," Jordan said.
Earlier this month, Congress extended its recess until May 4 due to safety concerns. But while the Republican-controlled Senate is scheduled to return, the Democrat-controlled House has reversed its plans.
"We have decided we will not come back next week, but we will come back very soon to pass the CARES 2 piece of legislation, and at that time we will be asking members to return to the Congress, to Washington," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters on a call Tuesday, according to CNN.