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Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press asks court to authorize release of grand jury materials included in Mueller report

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  1. Freedom of Information

Update: On Aug. 6, the Reporters Committee filed a motion to consolidate its case seeking the public release of grand jury material “cited, quoted, or referenced” in the report submitted to Attorney General William Barr by Special Counsel Robert Mueller with a related application filed by the House Judiciary Committee seeking access to the same material. The House Judiciary Committee noticed its case as related to the Reporters Committee’s earlier application. If the motion to consolidate is granted, the cases will be briefed simultaneously and heard by Chief Judge Howell at the same time.  

This morning the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a request in the federal district court for the District of Columbia for an order that would authorize the public release of grand jury material that is “cited, quoted, or referenced” in the report submitted to Attorney General William Barr by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

On March 27, the Reporters Committee filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for access to and a copy of the full Mueller report. The attorney general has stated that he will not—and maintains that he cannot—release the report in full, in part because it contains grand jury material subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e). A ruling from the district court granting the Reporters Committee’s application would allow the Department of Justice and Congress to release those portions of the Mueller report to the public.

“Given the historical significance and overwhelming public interest in the Mueller report, the Reporters Committee is urging the Court to exercise its authority to allow those portions of the report that consist of grand jury material to be released to the public,” said Reporters Committee Legal Director Katie Townsend. “The calls for transparency are broad and bipartisan. The president himself has said the report should be made public. We agree. The public is entitled to see as much of the Mueller report, unredacted, as possible.”

The Reporters Committee is represented in the matter by Townsend and its executive director, Bruce Brown, as well as by attorneys, led by Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., from the law firm of Gibson Dunn.

“The exceptions to the federal grand jury secrecy rules, multiple precedents, the First Amendment and the public interest all support releasing the Mueller report in full given the extraordinary circumstances of this matter and the need to ensure public confidence in the results of this investigation,” said Boutrous. “The American people deserve to see and scrutinize the full contents of the report so they can evaluate for themselves the threats to our electoral system from Russian interference and make their own judgments about whether the president and his campaign coordinated with Russia or obstructed justice.”