So much for the notion that the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s work somehow means the end of Robert Mueller’s probe. Palmer Report predicted that Mueller’s ongoing investigations would promptly be handed off to permanent federal prosecutors, and sure enough, that’s begun. In fact it just happened in one of Mueller’s most intriguing cases, and just in time for big news in that case.
Robert Mueller’s office has announced this afternoon that it’s handed off its infamous subpoena battle, against an unidentified foreign-government owned company, to the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington DC, according to CNN. This is a battle that Mueller had already won in appeals court, but the company was appealing to the Supreme Court. Just this afternoon, according to Talking Points Memo, the Supreme Court announced that it’s refusing to hear the case, thus handing a major victory to Mueller – er, to the DC prosecutors. So now what?
This leaves the mystery company with no remaining legal challenges available. It’ll now have to decide whether to comply with the subpoena, or to continue racking up huge and escalating monetary fines that have been assessed by the judge in the case. Either way, we could soon find out the identity of the company, along with what was specially being subpoenaed. Even without Mueller still on the job, this could prove crucial.
Thus far the only details about the company that have been confirmed in publicly available court filings are that it’s 1) fully owned by a foreign government, 2) it’s a financial institution, and 3) it does business in the United States. Whatever Mueller tried to subpoena, by definition it must have fit within the scope of his investigation, which means that it directly or indirectly relates to Donald Trump and his campaign. Considering how aggressively Mueller fought to get these records, and how aggressively the company fought to suppress them, both sides must have considered the records to be crucial to the Trump-Russia investigation.
In any case, this is the latest sign that Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigations have indeed been farmed out in pieces to the relevant U.S. Attorneys’ offices. We’ll see where this goes next, but the key here is that the investigation involving this mystery company subpoena hasn’t simply been shut down now that Mueller is off the case. It’s becoming clear that – despite what Donald Trump was hoping – Mueller’s investigation lives on.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report