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US Top Court Puts Hold on Russiagate Grand Jury Materials Sought by House Lawmakers

© AP Photo / Jon ElswickSpecial counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as released on Thursday, April 18, 2019, is photographed in Washington.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as released on Thursday, April 18, 2019, is photographed in Washington.  - Sputnik International
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The US Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked the release of Mueller probe special grand jury materials sought by House of Representatives lawmakers.

In an order Wednesday, the Supreme Court blocked the release of the material redacted from the March 2019 Mueller report as well as exhibits and transcripts referenced in the document.

The court order ensures that details from the Russia investigation are not obtained by Democratic lawmakers at least until June 1, when the court will decide whether it will extend the hold.

In a 35-page filing, US Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco asked the justices to block an order by a federal appeals court that established a May 11 deadline for the Justice Department to hand over evidence to the House Judiciary Committee.

​“The government will suffer irreparable harm absent a stay. Once the government discloses the secret grand-jury records, their secrecy will irrevocably be lost,” Francisco wrote. “That is particularly so when, as here, they are disclosed to a congressional committee and its staff."

The Trump administration has argued that it would suffer harm if lawmakers saw grand jury secrets retrieved in the Russiagate investigation. On the other hand, House Democrats have argued that they need access to the grand jury evidence due to suspicions that US President Donald Trump lied under oath in his written statements, particularly regarding his campaign's contacts with WikiLeaks and knowledge of the outlet's plans to release hacked Democratic emails.

The Justice Department has stated that disclosing the grand jury materials would sacrifice its secrecy and that secrecy is necessary for witnesses to testify fully.

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