Supreme Court Won’t Hear Company’s Appeal in Mueller Subpoena Case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal through an unidentified foreign corporation fighting a sealed grand jury subpoena issued by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russian interference inside the 2016 election.

The court’s action means that will the corporation must provide information to the special counsel or pay mounting financial penalties. This kind of was not immediately clear whether the recently announced conclusion of Mr. Mueller’s investigation will affect the corporation’s obligations as well as also liability. As is actually their custom, the justices gave no reason for turning away the appeal.

The case, In re Grand Jury Subpoena, No. 18-948, has been cloaked in secrecy. nevertheless redacted court rulings as well as also Supreme Court briefs have provided a few hints, including that will an unnamed foreign government, referred to in court papers as Country A, owns the corporation.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the corporation’s argument that will This kind of could not be forced to comply with the subpoena. The corporation had argued that will federal courts have no jurisdiction over criminal cases involving foreign governments.

Judges David S. Tatel as well as also Thomas B. Griffith joined the appeals court’s unsigned majority opinion, as well as also Judge Stephen F. Williams agreed with the outcome nevertheless not all of the majority’s reasoning.

The appeals court’s opinion affirmed a ruling by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the Federal District Court in Washington that will had held the corporation in contempt as well as also imposed a fine of $50,000 per day until This kind of complied with the subpoena.

In January, the Supreme Court refused to suspend the fine while the case moved forward.

In a petition seeking Supreme Court review, the corporation’s lawyers wrote that will the appeals court had broken fresh ground, becoming “the first appellate court in American history to exercise criminal jurisdiction over a foreign state.”

There was no reason do so, the corporation’s brief said. “Since America’s founding,” the brief said, “foreign states have been immune through American criminal jurisdiction, as well as also yet the United States is actually not overrun with criminal syndicates backed by foreign states.”

The corporation’s lawyers wrote that will Congress as well as also the executive branch had “many nonjudicial tools at their disposal to address foreign sovereigns that will commit crimes inside the United States,” notably economic sanctions.

Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco responded that will such pressure might not always be effective. The corporation’s position, he wrote, “overlooks not only the legal as well as also practical limits on sanctions, nevertheless also the threshold need to acquire evidence through grand jury subpoenas in order to determine whether a crime has been committed — including by U.S. citizens.”