McKeever v. Barr, a ruling issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on April 5, rejects the argument that federal judges can release grand jury evidence whenever they think it’s in the public interest. The holding may be bad news for those in Congress who want to see such evidence from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Latest in Watergate Road Map
At 11:00 a.m. on March 1, 1974, lawyers and reporters gathered in Judge John Sirica’s courtroom in Washington. The Watergate special prosecutor’s office had issued its usual bland announcement: A “proceeding” would take place. In court, Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski said that the grand jury had materials to submit to the judge: an indictment and a sealed report. The grand jury foreman, a Library of Congress trade analyst named Vladimir Pregelj, handed Judge Sirica two sealed envelopes.
“It would be unthinkable if this material were kept from the House of Representatives in the course of the discharge of its most awesome constitutional responsibility.”
—Letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino, Mar. 8, 1974
What the Watergate 'Road Map' Reveals About Improper Contact Between the White House and the Justice Department
Details of the interactions show why contacts between the president and the top officials investigating his White House were risky for all involved.
The release of the “road map” provided by the Watergate grand jury to the House Judiciary Committee has precipitated a discussion over the suitability of a similar option for Robert Mueller. Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes have rightly observed that the road map was a restrained presentation, limited to key statements and a guide to the supporting material in the evidentiary record.
Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski’s report to the House of Representatives hastened the impeachment of President Nixon in 1974. Now that Jaworski’s “road map” has been made public, after 44 years under judicial seal, Robert Mueller may be able to use it as a template for his own impeachment report—assuming that he’s preparing one.
The Road Map is now public. What does it teach about how Bob Mueller should think about his coming report?
As Benjamin Wittes has flagged, on Oct. 31 the National Archives released the Watergate “Road Map” produced by the office of Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski and sent to Congress as a referral for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. The Archives has not only made the Road Map itself public, but has also collected a trove of related information that may be of interest to readers. We sketch out the categories of documents below.