A federal judge ruled this afternoon that the Justice Department has to turn over Robert Mueller's grand jury evidence to the House Judiciary Committee. Via Politico:
In a double victory for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Judge Beryl Howell — the chief federal judge in Washington — ruled that the impeachment inquiry Democrats have launched is valid even though the House hasn't taken a formal vote on it. The decision rejects arguments by DOJ and congressional Republicans that a formal vote is necessary to launch impeachment proceedings.
"Even in cases of presidential impeachment, a House resolution has never, in fact, been required to begin an impeachment inquiry," Howell determined, dismissing GOP arguments as unsupported.
Republicans had claimed that the House Judiciary Committee cannot begin impeachment proceedings without a formal vote of the House -- and that even if it could, Pelosi is not empowered to simply grant that authority to the Judiciary Committee. But Howell rejected the arguments out of hand.
"These contentions are, at worst, red herrings and, at best, incorrect," ruled Howell, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.
Full speed ahead. No more nonsense about the White House saying they don't have to honor subpoenas before there was a formal vote by the full House. Now we move on to the next chapter and somewhere, Elijah Cummings is smiling.