Bill Barr slammed as judge wants DOJ memo on why Trump wasn't charged in Mueller probe released: 'He lied to us'

The judge called Barr 'disingenuous' and said that he lied to Federal Court and Congress about not charging Trump with obstruction of justice in Russia investigation


                            Bill Barr slammed as judge wants DOJ memo on why Trump wasn't charged in Mueller probe released: 'He lied to us'
Former Attorney General William Barr was labeled 'disingenuous' for not charging ex-president Donald Trump in Mueller probe (Getty Images)

A federal judge on Monday, May 3, ordered the Department of Justice to turn over an internal memo that then Attorney General Bill Barr cited in 2019 as justification for clearing former president Donald Trump of obstructing justice. The decision came months after several news websites reported that Trump and his team are twisting the findings of the special counsel’s report on the Russia investigation.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the US District Court released a 41-page opinion on May 3 in Washington saying the Justice Department’s obfuscation appeared to be part of a pattern in which top officials such as Barr were not honest to Congress and the public about the investigation. The department argued that the memo was exempted from the public records laws because it had Barr's private conversations with the lawyers. But Judge Jackson, who was hired by former president Barack Obama in 2011, ruled that the memo contained strategic advice and that Barr and his aides had already come to a decision.

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Former president Donald Trump speaks during the daily White House coronavirus press briefing while flanked by then Attorney General William Barr April 1, 2020, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

"Not only was the Attorney General being disingenuous then, but DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court with respect to the existence of a decision-making process that should be shielded by the deliberative process privilege," she said. "The agency’s redactions and incomplete explanations obfuscate the true purpose of the memorandum, and the excised portions belie the notion that it fell to the Attorney General to make a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at any time," she added. Jackson contended that her review of the redacted document “reveals that the Attorney General was not then engaged in making a decision about whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice; the fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given”. The judge said the redacted pages offer "strategic, as opposed to legal advice" to Barr.

Judge Jackson's opinion comes in a lawsuit where Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a government transparency group in Washington, is seeking access to DOJ documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

Former Attorney General William Barr testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in the Congressional Auditorium at the US Capitol Visitors Center July 28, 2020, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

As soon as the news made its way to social media, people started talking about it. One user said, "Federal Judge: Barr lied to Federal Court and Congress about decision not to charge Trump with obstruction of justice in Russia investigation." Kyle Cheney tweeted, "“Not only was the Attorney General being disingenuous then, but DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court.” More on Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling on Barr’s handling of the Mueller report from @joshgerstein."



 



 

One person said, "Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson today ruled crime underboss William Barr lied to her and Congress about why they did not see any reason to prosecute Agolf Twitler for crimes of obstruction of justice via fake report. It was a cover up and now Barr is in trouble. Lock him up." While some predicted, "Bill Barr is about to go through some things." Another said, "Barr lied to us all. We knew it then."



 



 

 



 

Observing the report another one suggested, "Look at everything that DOJ had on the Trump campaign. It's not that Mueller couldn't prove they conspired with Russia, it's that Bill Barr killed the Special Counsel's Office before they could put a prosecution together." Another one explained, "Disingenuous is an awfully nice word for abuse of power in a cover up. To think this s one item in 4 years of cover ups!"



 



 

On March 24, 2019, Barr released his four-page summary of the special counsel’s report in which he stated that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. While Mueller didn’t absolve Trump of obstruction of justice charge, Barr did, saying he didn’t think the evidence the special counsel’s team provided met that standard.

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