Supreme Court Gets New Filing in Case Seen Linked to Mueller

(Bloomberg) — A mystery company appears poised to file a U.S. Supreme Court appeal that could offer new details about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation.

A new filing on the high court’s online docket promises an appeal of a lower court ruling that upheld fines against the company for not complying with a grand jury subpoena. The company is owned by an unidentified foreign country.

The filing, submitted Monday but appearing on the court’s website Tuesday, seeks permission to file an appeal under seal. It also asks the Supreme Court to let a redacted version of that appeal be made public, according to the court’s docket.

The Supreme Court is already considering a request to block the ruling while the case is on appeal. Chief Justice John Roberts last month issued a temporary order that stopped fines from accumulating while the court considers whether to block the decision. The high court could act on that request at any time.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction by President Donald Trump. The case apparently marks the first time the Supreme Court has been asked to intervene in the probe.

The high court rarely, if ever, hears cases that are under seal. In the famous 1971 Pentagon Papers case the court rejected a government request to hold part of the argument behind closed doors, though the sides were allowed to file briefs under seal. The court later ruled that the government couldn’t stop the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing the government’s secret history of the Vietnam War.

The grand jury dispute has been shrouded in mystery, in part because officials closed an entire floor of a federal courthouse in Washington during arguments on Dec. 7. Politico linked the case to Mueller in October, citing a conversation overheard by a reporter in the court clerk’s office.

The appeals court order rejected contentions that a federal sovereign-immunity law shielded the company from having to comply.

The cases are In Re Grand Jury Subpoena, 18A669, and In Re Grand Jury Subpoena, 18M93.

(Describes handling of Pentagon Papers case in sixth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Justin Blum

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

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