Four days after officials sealed off an entire floor of a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. for secret arguments in a mystery case about a grand jury subpoena, a three judge panel unanimously agreed that an unknown company – owned by an unknown foreign country – had to abide by a lower court order enforcing a subpoena in a mystery case which some believe is related to the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“The Grand Jury seeks information from a corporation (“the Corporation”) owned by Country A,” the judges wrote in their three page opinion, the first public document in a case known only as “In Re Grand Jury Subpoena.”
Without giving any details on the identity of the company, or the country, the ruling rejected the efforts of both to avoid the grand jury subpoena for unknown information, leaving the subpoena in place.
The decision revealed that the company refusing to comply with the subpoena was being fined by the courts.
“When the Corporation failed to produce the requested information, the court held the Corporation in contempt, imposing a fixed monetary penalty to increase each day the Corporation fails to comply,” the decision read.
In their ruling, the judges said that sovereign immunity could not insulate foreign countries from criminal liability, meaning in this case that the U.S. legal system could have ‘subject-matter jurisdiction over criminal offenses’ involving this foreign company, owned by a foreign government.
“Consequently, we are unconvinced that Country A’s law truly prohibits the Corporation from complying with the subpoena,” the judges concluded.
The new bits of information spurred all kinds of speculation from legal and political circles – but the bottom line is that no one has confirmed what kind of company, which country, or even who is investigating the matter.
Some legal experts believe the company is a state-owned bank, which might have done business with the Trump Organization – but those type of details remain unknown at this time.
The court’s decision could still be appealed to the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.