Law firms representing the two sides of the contentious Trump-Russia controversy are preparing to file a legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, in a case that could alter the course of the investigation.
The Trump-Putin probe has taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks, with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team seeking to expand its scope, with new subpoenas from congressional committees probing whether Trump obstructed justice and obstruction of justice by his White House.
A number of federal prosecutors have already asked the Supreme Court to issue a stay on the investigation, including Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has overseen Mueller’s investigation.
The Supreme Court has declined to do so, citing the “importance of the inquiry” and the need to “review” whether it should continue.
A motion filed Tuesday with the high court by Mueller’s legal team would ask the justices to delay the filing of a separate motion by the Justice Department, arguing that the former FBI director has the authority to make the move and the president’s response to it is too narrow.
The move is likely to be viewed as a signal from the justices that the investigation has been narrowed in scope.
The new motion, filed by Mueller attorney Paul Monteleone, also notes that a second judge in the probe has already blocked the Justice Office from moving forward.
The court did not rule on that decision, which is unusual.
If the Supreme Day filing is granted, it could help the Justice, State and Judiciary Departments decide which of the three federal prosecutors are best suited to pursue the Trump-Moscow inquiry.
The high court has not yet ruled on whether to hear the case.
The Trump administration has argued that Mueller’s probe is broader than the one conducted by the Obama administration.