The secret U.S. appeals court case between Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and an unidentified company owned by a foreign government, is now proceeding rather quickly. We still don’t know who the company is. But we do know that the company just lost for the second time in three days, as Mueller has scored yet another victory.
Based on publicly visible court docket records, here’s what we now know: on Tuesday, the DC Court of Appeals ruled that the company must honor Robert Mueller’s subpoena. On Thursday, the company filed a 3900 word motion. Roughly two hours later, the court made another ruling in response. That ruling, which was made yesterday but didn’t become visible on the docket records until today, was in favor of Mueller. There’s no mention of what the new ruling specifically is, but we can probably piece it together.
Based on our conversations with legal experts, there are two possibilities. The first is that the company asked for a re-hearing on the part of the three judges, who quickly shot it down. In such case the company will likely ask for an en banc hearing which would include every eligible judge in the building. The second scenario is that the company asked for an en banc hearing and was shot down, which would be devastating to the company.
Based on the context of what’s transpired, Robert Mueller’s subpoena is apparently for some kind of documents or other physical evidence that incriminates Donald Trump and/or his family, and happens to be in the possession of a company owned by a foreign government. That company is desperate to avoid turning over that evidence, either because it wants to protect Trump, or it’s afraid of incriminating itself, or both. In any case, Mueller keeps winning.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report