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Mystery Mueller Opponent Is Ready to Take its Case All the Way to the Top


Robert Mueller Paul Manafort blank subpoenas

The buzzed-about mystery party who appears to be locked in a heated legal battle with Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking to bring its case all the way to the top of the American judicial system. The unidentified foreign company owned by an unidentified country on Tuesday moved for leave to file a petition for a writ of certiorari under seal. That means they want the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case, in the hopes that SCOTUS will overturn the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against them, which said they must comply with a Mueller grand jury subpoena.

The foreign company already went to the Supreme Court recently, but that was only to seek a stay on the Circuit Court’s order holding them in contempt. That order included monetary penalties for every day they fail to comply with a subpoena. The foreign firm claimed that compliance with the subpoeana would be in violation of its country’s laws.

The Circuit Court and the government disagreed with that argument.

“[W]e find that the government satisfied its burden of establishing a reasonable probability that this ‘action is based upon . . . an act outside the territory of the United States in connection with a commercial activity of the foreign state elsewhere’ and that the ‘act cause[d] a direct effect in the United States,” the Circuit Court ruled. “We therefore agree that the [Foreign Sovereign Immunities] Act does not immunize the Corporation from this subpoena.”

“The text of the foreign law provision the Corporation relies on does not support its position,” the Circuit Court added.  “Consequently, we are unconvinced that Country A’s law truly prohibits the Corporation from complying with the subpoena.”

Despite the ruling and the government’s opposition to the foreign company’s claim, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts granted a stay on the contempt order.

Now, the company is looking for the Supreme Court to hear arguments and rule on the merits of their case. The details of the matter have been kept tightly under wraps, with briefs filed under seal and the name of the party in question being kept from the public record. Reporters trying to learn more about the players involved recently tried staking out the D.C. Circuit Court, only to be thwarted when security closed off the entire floor of the courtroom where arguments were being held.

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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