Supreme Court to discuss appeal from company in possible Mueller probe
Friday’s conference of the justices, which will occur in private, is the latest chapter in a case that has been shrouded in secrecy since the first hint of it become public last year.
What is known, though, is that a company owned by a unknown foreign government is trying to quash a subpoena for information issued by a grand jury sitting in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. There is circumstantial evidence that the grand jury is working in conjunction with Mueller’s office, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and related issues.
That evidence includes sightings of lawyers on the special counsel’s team at the courtroom of the judge who first heard a challenge of the subpoena, at the same time of proceedings in the case.
Those proceedings have been held without the public being allowed to attend.
The judge in the case, Beryl Howard, rejected the company’s request to toss out the subpoena. The firm had argued it was exempt from the subpoena because of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and also that the subpoena was “unreasonable and oppressive” under federal rules because it would require the company to violate the law of the country that owns it.
Last month, the federal appeals court in Washington denied the company’s appeal of Howard’s decision.
The company then asked the Supreme Court to stay the $50,000 daily fine that Howard imposed on the firm for not complying with the subpoena. Chief Justice John Roberts granted that request.
The company also asked that the justices on the court let it file its request that the Supreme Court take up its appeal under seal.
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court lifted the stay on the fines, meaning the company may be on the hook for at least $350,000 in fines as of Monday.
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