A recent court filing in the mysterious case involving a grand jury subpoena is saying that the U.S. Supreme Court should let the public learn at least something about the case.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a motion for leave to intervene in the case, so they can move for the unsealing of information in the matter, which involves a foreign company owned by a foreign country believed to be resisting a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s office.
The motion, dated Jan. 9, 2019, calls for the unsealing of the case, with documents to be made public, with appropriate redactions made to keep sensitive information private. The unidentified company recently petitioned for a writ of certiorari, and the Reporters Committee says that if the Supreme Court grants it and agrees to hear the case, they should have both sides “file publicly redacted versions of all merits filings,” and “that any oral argument be held publicly.” They would also like transcripts of such arguments to be filed on the public record, with appropriate redactions.
“The right of access is fundamental to a democratic state because it ensures that the public can scrutinize the conduct of its court system, participate in debates about public affairs, and contribute to self-governance,” the filing says, with the Committee lamenting that “the near-wholesale blanket seal of this litigation thus far has unduly limited the public’s right of access.”
The only significant information that the public has learned thus far came from a three-page order from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which identified the defendant as a foreign company that was claiming that compliance with a grand jury subpoena would violate their country’s laws. The Court of Appeals disagreed, affirming an order that held them in contempt and imposed monetary penalties. The company went to the Supreme Court seeking a stay on that order. Chief Justice John Roberts did agree to a temporary stay until the government responded, but then the Court kept the order in place.
Now, the mystery company wants the Supreme Court to hear the merits of the case. If the Reporters Committee gets their way, the public will get to hear as well.
[Image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images]