A judge has ordered the Justice Department (DOJ) to hand over an internal note from March 2019, which then-Attorney General Bill Barr cited as a reason for not accusing former President Trump of obstructing justice following Mueller’s investigation.
The note concludes that the evidence gathered by the team of special lawyer Robert Mueller, investigating evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, will not support Trump’s pursuit of obstacles.
“It’s time for the public to see that,” District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in a ruling Tuesday.
Parts of the note from March 24, 2019 have been published, but the Department of Justice has two weeks to issue the full note following a lawsuit from Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW). The Ministry of Justice has previously claimed that the document is a private bar association prepared before the official decision and is exempt from the law on public registers on the privilege of a client lawyer.
But Jackson said the Justice Department had concealed the “true purpose of the memorandum”
FEDERAL JUDGE SLAMS AG AG BARR ON MUELLER’S REPORT, EARRINGS TO REVIEW UNAUTHORIZED VERSION
“A review of the document reveals that at the time, the chief prosecutor was not involved in deciding whether the president should be accused of obstructing justice; the fact that he will not be prosecuted is a given, “Jackson said in a Monday order.
Jackson, who was appointed to federal court in Washington, D.C., by former President Obama, wrote in his scathing ruling that “not only was the Attorney General dishonest then, but the DOJ was adamant about that court in terms of the existence of a decision.” a process that must be protected from the privilege of the deliberative process. ”
In March 2019, Barr wrote a letter to Congress summarizing the findings of Mueller’s investigation before it was released to the public and releasing Trump from obstruction of justice.
READ THE FULL LETTER
For Trump, who has repeatedly tweeted that he did not talk to Russians amid a flood of allegations from the media and political figures, the moment is almost a complete excuse. Although Mueller noted that his report did not “exonerate” Trump of obstacles, Barr writes, “the report does not recommend any additional allegations, nor has the special adviser received sealed allegations that have yet to be published.”
Mueller later complained that Barr’s summary did not fully reflect his findings and led to “public confusion.”
“The special adviser did not find that the campaign of Trump or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated” with Russians who worked on these hacking efforts, according to Barr’s letter, “despite numerous offers from Russia-related aiders. of Trump’s campaign. “
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Mueller did not find enough evidence to accuse anyone in Trump’s campaign of criminal conspiracy. Barr and DOJ officials – who found that there was not enough evidence of obstacles. According to Barr’s letter, Mueller “admitted” that the lack of evidence that Trump was involved in a secret agreement would undermine any obstruction – which would depend on the president’s corrupt intent.
Greg Re of the Associated Press and Fox News contributed to this report.