It’s somewhat wonky stuff, the tiny bits of work that lead to larger outcomes, that constitute the important parts of a news cycle. Today was such a day, and a good one for the Trump administration on two fronts.
First, the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jerry Nadler, was denied access to the unredacted report from Robert Mueller’s “Russiagate” investigation and other material seen by the grand jury.
A.G. Bill Barr redacted some information in April of 2019 on the basis of four points, as reported at the time by NBC: “(1) grand jury materials required to be secret by Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; (2) materials which the intelligence agencies believe reveal ‘sources and methods’; (3) materials affecting ongoing criminal cases; and (4) information ‘unduly infringing’ privacy and reputational interests of ‘peripheral third parties.'”
Points one and four are somewhat subjective, leading Democrats to assume that Barr is hiding information unfavorable to Trump from the public. If the Supreme Court had decided to release the unredacted report, it would have been grist for the media mill, regardless of the content.
The Trump administration is arguing that a degree of confidentiality must remain in place in order to protect the sanctity of future investigations. Witnesses giving confidential testimony will be less likely to provide full and detailed evidence if they fear that their names will be subsequently featured in the media.
The court stayed the release of the full report today. Now the Trump administration is required to file an official appeal by June 1 for the court to decide whether it will hear the case. If the justices decline to hear the case, which seems unlikely, the report will be released to the Judiciary Committee.
In other news, a U.S. Senate committee headed by Ron Johnson (R-WI) voted to approve a subpoena for records from Blue Star Strategies, an associate of Burisma, the energy giant which infamously employed Hunter Biden during a time when the U.S. was working to contain corruption in Ukraine. As reported today by the Washington Examiner:
By a party-line, 8-6 vote on Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security Committee greenlighted a subpoena for Blue Star Strategies, a Democratic public relations firm.
Blue Star Strategies represented Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company that employed Biden on its board while his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, was leading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
The subpoena approved Wednesday includes deposition requests for the firm’s leadership.
…Johnson also claimed the firm has not been cooperative with the committee in its request for information, contrasting with what the firm has said about its compliance.
“I didn’t want to make this a big deal,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to get the information, I just wanted to get those records. We’ll get those records now, and we’ll see if we find something. I’m somewhat suspicious. My interest level has been raised by the high level of their objections. I think they protest a little bit too much.”–Washington Examiner
What the GOP-led committee leadership hopes to achieve, be it political leverage by keeping the ugly Ukraine story in the spotlight, or to acquire proof of further malfeasance by Hunter during his time at Burisma, remains to be seen.
Of note, it’s not only Ukraine which is causing the Biden family to scratch its many itches. Hunter is still listed as a director and board member at BHR, the firm he formed with the Bank of China to carry out the unprecedented $1.5 billion transaction between the CCP and Rosemont Seneca Partners, Hunter’s boutique investment firm he founded with friends Devon Archer and Christopher Heinz.