Robert Mueller

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Report: 62-Year-Old Case About Columbia Professor Who Disappeared Could Affect Mueller Probe

August 28, 2018 - 6:07 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) -- A six-decade-old case about a murdered Columbia University professor could have a major impact on how information gets out related to the Mueller investigation.

Politico Senior White House Reporter Josh Gerstein wrote about the case for Politico Tuesday. The case of Columbia professor Jesus Galindez is the subject of what Gerstein wrote is a “little-noticed” court case – in which the Justice Department is arguing that judges do not have the freedom to release grand jury information that is typically kept secret.

Galindez disappeared, and is believed to have been murdered, more than 60 years ago.

“So this professor’s name was Jesus Galindez, and he disappeared from the streets of New York there in 1956. It was long suspected that he was actually kidnapped. He was a dissident in Spain and the Dominican Republic, and it was thought that he was kidnapped, taken to Florida by plane, and then to the Dominican Republic, where he met some untimely demise,” Gerstein said.

A Washington, D.C. grand jury investigated the case back then, but no one was ever charged.

The case now before the appeals court was brought by attorney and author Stuart McKeever, who has spent decades investigating the Galindez case, Gerstein said. He has asked Washington to unveil the grand jury records and make them public – and if the judge decides they cannot, it could set a precedent when it comes to Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“Depending on how the public courts come out, it could set a pretty significant precedent about when judges can release grand jury information, and that’s a precedent that could potentially be a problem for Robert Mueller if he wants to release a public report, or a report to Congress about his findings in the Trump-Russia probe,” Gerstein said.

Based on a ruling in the Watergate era, a grand jury report could still be released if there were an ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump – but there is not any such inquiry right

“And so this issue could be at its most acute if the Republicans hang on. On the other side of that, if the Democrats were to take control of the House and start at least an inquiry towards impeachment, Mueller would be in safer territory to submit some kind of report to the House that contains findings from his grand jury probe,” Gerstein said.