The decision contributes to criticism from federal judges and others of Barr and his attitude toward the end of Mueller’s investigation. Jackson and others have repeatedly questioned Barr̵
“The agency’s revisions and incomplete explanations obscure the true purpose of the memorandum, and the cut-outs believe the Attorney General should have made a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at all times,” Jackson said in a statement. pages published on Tuesday.
“The fact that [Trump] will not be prosecuted is given, “she added.
The judge’s opinion came on a lawsuit in which the government’s Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Transparency Group in Washington sought access to MoD documents through the Freedom of Information Act.
CREW and several other groups are still trying to gather new recordings of Mueller’s investigation in the public eye, through lawsuits and other challenges. The case, which Jackson decided this week, deals with documents surrounding Bar’s decision to refuse to charge Trump.
The note on alleged legal reasons prepared for Barr should be released, Jackson decided. Jackson also decided that the draft legal analysis by the Legal Council Office would remain secret.
“We requested these records and filed this lawsuit because of serious doubts about the official history of Barr’s DOJ. Although we still do not know what is in the note, the Court’s opinion gives us confidence that we were entitled to have questions,” Jordan Libovitz said. a CREW spokesman said Tuesday.
Behind the note
The 9-page memorandum, which Jackson said should be released, was finalized by two senior political leaders in the Justice Department – Stephen Engel of the Office of the Legal Adviser and Ed O’Callaghan, chief adviser to the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office – the same day. informed Congress of Mueller’s findings about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice.
The Justice Department argued in court that much of the substance of Engel and O’Callaghan’s note should remain obscured, as it is protected from internal discussions of law and policy. A DOJ lawyer, Paul Colborn, had told the court that the note was intended to help Barr decide whether to prosecute Trump.
Engel and O’Callaghan’s note does not recommend an indictment, saying that Mueller’s findings are not beyond reasonable doubt.
Jackson herself read the document in the case, she noted. The judge said the edited pages offered Barr “strategic, as opposed to legal advice”. Without mentioning this in court, Jackson wrote that the DOJ pretended that the discussion of the strategy did not exist.
The way the Justice Department handled the dispute over public access to the document “serves to obscure the true purpose of the memorandum,” Jackson added.
It’s not trustworthy, Jackson says
Jackson’s strong opinion, albeit largely on the technical aspects of government confidentiality, is close to accusing the Department of Justice of concealment.
The judge wrote that while senior DOJ officials had drafted a legal opinion allowing Barr not to prosecute Trump, they were also sending emails about a higher priority they had: to inform Congress that the president had been released.
Jackson carefully considered how this decision was arrived at, looking at court statements from department lawyers and internal emails between Barr’s top advisers.
Certifications of officials from the Ministry of Justice [in court about the memo] are so incompatible with the evidence in the record that they are not credible, “Jackson wrote.