There are three current court cases that touch upon whether the House “impeachment inquiry” is following a constitutional process.
♦The first case is the House Oversight effort to gain President Trumps’ tax returns as part of their impeachment ‘inquiry’ and oversight. That case is currently on-hold (10-day stay) in the Supreme Court; outcome pending.
♦The second case is the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) effort to gain the grand jury information from the Mueller investigation. The decision by DC Judge Beryl Howell was also stayed by a three member DC Appellate court. Oral arguments were November 12th, the decision is pending. [Depending on outcome, could also go to SCOTUS]
♦The third case is the HJC effort to force the testimony of former White House legal counsel Don McGahn. Issue: subpoena validity. The HJC has asked for an expedited ruling. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has announced she will deliver her ruling on Monday, November 25th:
WASHINGTON DC – […] “The Judiciary Committee anticipates holding hearings after HPSCI’s public hearings have concluded and would aim to obtain Mr. McGahn’s testimony at that time,” the committee wrote, referring to the impeachment inquiry hearings led by the House Intelligence Committee. “Thus, there is an urgent need for final resolution of the matter now pending before this Court.”
The House’s letter to federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in Washington points out that it is considering impeaching Trump for obstruction of justice, for which McGahn would be a key witness since he spoke to special counsel Robert Mueller for the obstruction investigation, and for lying to Mueller, after testimony at Roger Stone’s criminal trial raised questions about Trump’s written answers to investigators about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Jackson said she will rule by the end of the day Monday. (read more)
The issue at stake is whether the legislative branch can penetrate the constitutional firewall which exists within the separation of powers.
Remember, the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on any ancillary case that touches upon the validity of the House impeachment process. The Supreme Court has not ruled on any case that touches the impeachment “inquiry”.
In addition to the Trump Tax Case (SCOTUS now), there are two other cases from the HJC where they are attempting to use the framework of a constitutional impeachment process as the underlying authority for their endeavors. Those cases are: (1) the Grand Jury material from the Mueller investigation (DC Court of Appeals); and (2) The Don McGahn subpoena case.
If the House loses the Tax case in SCOTUS or either HJC case in appeals or SCOTUS it will likely mean there is no constitutional foundation for the “impeachment inquiry.”
Without the constitutional recognition of the judicial branch then: (a) Pelosi/Lawfare have to restart the process with a genuine House vote; or (b) the ongoing impeachment process will have no recognized constitutional standing; and (c) the Senate could ignore any House impeachment vote, cast without recognized constitutional standing.
Over the next ten days the status of each case will start to play out in the courts.