There has been a mystery and very secret fight going on in the Mueller/Trump probe that just reached the Supreme Court.
Not much is known about the case other than the lengths the government is going to keep it secret.
They cordoned off an entire floor to keep the press from snooping one day and have sealed everything related to the case. In fact, we only know about it because a reporter got extremely lucky one day.
The facts we know – Mueller has subpoenaed a company who will not cooperate. Mueller wanted them held in contempt and fined $5,000 a day.
Problem is this is a foreign company owned by a foreign government who wants immunity or some political considerations.
The lower courts sided with Mueller and the case, with shocking speed so you know it is key, went straight to the highest court in the land.
Late last night, Chief Justice Roberts gave Mueller a rare setback – he paused the contempt charges until the full court can decide on whether to hear the case.
From CNN: The request to the Supreme Court is the latest twist in the secret case, much of which is under seal and has made its way through the federal court system with uncommon speed.
This is the first known legal challenge apparently related to Mueller’s investigation to make its way to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court could separately be asked to hear an appeal of the case.
“So far as we know, the Court has never had a sealed argument before all nine justices,” said Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law. “They can keep parts of the record and briefing sealed, and often do, such as in cases implicating trade secrets.
But there’s no procedure in the court’s rules for having the whole case briefed, argued and decided under seal. The only times I’m aware of in which parties tried it, the court denied certiorari,” or the review of the case.
The company’s challenge of the subpoena appears to have begun in September. In its ruling this past week, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia offered few clues about the company and its country of origin or what Mueller’s team sought.
In one short passage in the three-page decision, the judges describe how they had learned confidentially from prosecutors that they had “reasonable probability” the records requested involved actions that took place outside of the United States but directly affected the US.
Even the company was not informed of what prosecutors had on the issue, because revealing it to the company would have violated the secrecy of the grand jury investigation, the judges said.
The range of possibilities on the identity of the company is vast. The company could be anything from a sovereign-owned bank to a state-backed technology or information company. Those types of corporate entities have been frequent recipients of requests for information in Mueller’s investigation.