What does a 60-year-old murder have to do with special counsel Robert Mueller? Some experts and observers say it has plenty.
The murder of a Columbia University professor may keep Mueller from publishing information about America’s 2016 presidential campaign. While the decades-old-case is not related to Mueller’s investigation, if an appeals court sides with the Justice Department in a recent case, Mueller’s plans may be moot. The court’s’ ruling could even prevent the special counsel from sending its report to Congress. If that happens, hopes for impeachment may be dashed.
Alex Whiting, a Harvard Law professor, told Politico that if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia accepts the Justice Department’s arguments, there would be “potentially enormous implications for the future” of the information turned up by Mueller’s investigation.
That move could block the path through which the information becomes public. The case was brought by lawyer and author Stuart McKeever about the disappearance of Jesus Galindez.
Galindez was a Columbia University professor and political activist who disappeared from New York City in the 1950s.
Many believe Galindez was kidnapped and flown to the Dominican Republic where he was killed. McKeever is looking for a judge to release secret testimony given to a Washington-based grand jury which investigated Galindez.
The Justice Department is arguing judges don’t have “inherent authority” to release the grand jury information — unless there are Congressional approved exemptions. There are no such exemptions in Mueller’s investigation.
Galindez was a Basque nationalist writer who disappeared. While Rafael Trujillo was dictator of the Dominican Republic.
Galindez was born in Amurrio and took part on the Republican side in 1939 in the Spanish Civil War. Galindez began to investigate Trujillo, encountered problems. He fled again, this time to New York City. Through his network he met Ibero-American Poets, members of the Writers Guild and the Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom.
At Columbia, he lectured on international law and completed his thesis about Trujillo and his rule.
Galindez disappeared on March 12, 1956 as he entered the subway in Manhattan. Galindez had fears that Dominican agents may kill him and he had expressed his fears to friends.
The night Galindez vanished, two Dominican ships were in New York and set sail shortly after Galindez was last seen.
A Possible Way Forward
There is one way Mueller’s report can be published — even if Galindez case remains sealed. The House Judiciary Committee may subpoena the documents as part of any impeach proceedings. That may depend on the midterm elections.
“Regardless of the outcome,” says Arkady Bukh, a noted New York Criminal Defense lawyer, “the case will have implications for current events and will be interesting to watch.”
Galíndez’s book, La era de Trujillo: Un Estudio Casuístico De Dictadura Hispanoamericana, was published in Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile in 1956, a few months after his disappearance. Translations were later published in France and America.