Posted: 8:34 am Sunday, December 23rd, 2018
By Jamie Dupree
A secret case involving an unknown foreign corporation owned by a foreign government reached the U.S. Supreme Court this weekend, as the mystery company asked the Chief Justice of the United States to block orders by lower courts forcing that company to comply with a secret grand jury subpoena, in a case which many believe is related to the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Case No. 18A669 quietly appeared on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday, after a federal appeals panel last week rejected the bid of an unnamed company from an unnamed country to quash a subpoena for an unknown investigation.
“Application (18A669) for a stay and application for leave to file the application under seal, submitted to The Chief Justice,” the simple statement read on the Supreme Court’s docket.
The case was deemed so sensitive at the appeals court level that an entire floor of the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. – not just the courtroom being used for the matter – was sealed off earlier this month for arguments about the case.
The only public information released on this matter came when a three judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on December 18 that the unknown corporation had to turn over documents sought by a federal grand jury.
— Kimberly Robinson (@KimberlyRobinsn) December 22, 2018
In the earlier appeals court ruling, the judges revealed that the company at issue – some believe it could be a state-owned bank – was being fined for not complying with the grand jury subpoena, with that fine increasing on a daily basis.
“The Grand Jury seeks information from a corporation (“the Corporation”) owned by Country A,” the judges wrote.
Some legal experts like Steve Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, believe the U.S. Supreme Court has never conducted a full review of a case without revealing information about it.
There have been sealed applications like this before, but so far as we know, #SCOTUS has never in its history conducted plenary review, including oral argument, in a case that remained entirely under seal… https://t.co/yPwpXk3mri
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 22, 2018
Some news organizations have reported that the case is linked to the Mueller investigation, but no documentary evidence has surfaced so far to confirm that.
The case has not only stayed totally secret, but has also moved quickly through the district and appeals courts.
It was not immediately clear when the Chief Justice would rule on the appeal for a stay of the lower court decisions; the Judicial Branch of government is currently under a partial government shutdown because of a lapse in funding on Friday night.
Officals have indicated the federal courts would remain open for at least a few weeks during the shutdown.