Two weeks ago, after the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Robert Mueller’s favor against a mystery foreign-owned company, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary stay so that the Supreme Court could decide whether it wanted to take up the case. This afternoon the Supreme Court announced that the temporary stay has been vacated and the original request has been denied, meaning Mueller has won, and that the court battle is over. So now what?
Because the Supreme Court has decided not to take up the case, it means the appeals court ruling stands. The mystery company can asked for a re-hearing, but that never works. In reality the company now has to decide whether to immediately comply with Robert Mueller’s subpoena and turn over whatever he’s demanding, or whether it wants to stand in violation of the United States government and rack up massive daily fines, along with other potential punitive measures. The latter would likely result in the company being financially ruined and/or no longer able to conduct any business in the United States.
So let’s say that the company decides to comply with the subpoena. This will give Robert Mueller immediate access to evidence that he’s been eagerly seeking, and that the company has been desperately trying to keep secret, which suggests that it’s some of the most crucial evidence in existence against Donald Trump. This should make Mueller’s already-overwhelming criminal case against Trump all the more compelling.
This still leaves the question of when or whether we’ll find out the identity of the mystery company in question. The courts may choose to keep the company’s identity under seal forever. However, at some point Robert Mueller will include this evidence in his report on Donald Trump, and that will probably be enough to give away the company’s identity. In any case, the upshot is that Mueller has – as per usual – won in court.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report