You say "eee-ther," I say "eye-ther"; you say "Witch Hunt!" I say, "ongoing criminal investigation with multiple lines of non-public inquiry."
In a court filing Thursday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller urged a U.S. District Court in Washington to deny a request from a group of five major news organizations to gain access to sealed documents, including search warrants and court transcripts, from its investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election and the activities of Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman.
Mueller quietly reminded everyone that of all the leaking going on in Washington and New York, none of it is coming from his team — and his team knows things you don't:
The special counsel's investigation is not a closed matter, but an ongoing criminal investigation with multiple lines of non-public inquiry. No right of public access exists to search warrant materials in an ongoing investigation. ... Search warrant materials regularly remain sealed while investigations are ongoing. And a right of public access risks jeopardizing open investigations. That remains true even though some aspects of the investigation have resulted in charges; the overall investigation is not complete, and the search warrant materials relate to that ongoing investigation. [Court filing, Robert Mueller]
"As of this date, the government has brought criminal charges against 22 individuals and entities arising from the investigation," Mueller added, listing the charges in an appendix, in case anyone in the White House forgot that his office has already turned up considerably more than nothing. The five news organizations — The Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico — will likely have to look elsewhere for their information. They could always try Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Peter Weber