Federal Judge Beryl Howell, the Chief Justice for the District of Columbia declined a request from House Democrats that would have brought their fight to compel the same judge to hear the cases concerning former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and the documents supporting it, as well as the subpoena that was delivered to former White House Counsel Don McGhan The Hill reported.
In his 11-page opinion, Howell wrote on Wednesday that the evidence provided to him indicated that the connections between the cases that the House Judiciary Committee was attempting to connect “are too superficial and attenuated” to meet the requirements to force the judge to allow the cases to be judged by the same justice.
Howell’s was a let down for House Democrats, who argued earlier that the cases should be deemed related because “both seek key evidence for the Judiciary Committee’s investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump for potentially criminal obstructive conduct.”
“The judge had this discretion under the rule and we appreciate the rapid reassignment,” a Judiciary Committee spokeswoman told The Hill Wednesday. “We look forward to getting to the merits of our complaint.”
Just days ago House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House Judiciary Committee would move forward with its plans to enforce a subpoena against former White House Counsel Don McGahn, in hopes of pursuing their obstruction of justice investigation.
Pelosi made her statement in a “dear colleague” letter which she sent Wednesday afternoon, according to The Hill. She also revealed that Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler would go so far as to file a complaint in court soon to enforce the congressional order.
“On the litigation front, Chairman Nadler will file a complaint in court today to enforce a subpoena to compel former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify before the Committee as part of its investigation into obstruction, corruption, and abuse of power by President Trump and his associates,” Pelosi wrote, according to The Hill.
Written by Savannah Pointer.