Judge Calls William Barr’s Decision To Not Prosecute Trump ‘Disingenuous,’ Orders Release Of Internal Memos
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a ruling Monday accusing former Attorney General William Barr of being “disingenuous” when describing the outcome of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to determine if former President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice.
“The review of the 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,” Jackson wrote. “The fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given.”
“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,” Jackson wrote in her scathing opinion. “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.”
Justice Department attorneys argue that the memo Jackson seeks is protected by attorney-client privilege, but Jackson countered their claims in her opinion writing. “The Court is not persuaded that the agency has met its burden to demonstrate that the memorandum was transmitted for the purpose of providing legal advice, as opposed to the strategic and policy advice that falls outside the scope of the privilege,” the judge wrote
The Justice Department can appeal her decision, but it seems unlikely with President Joe Biden‘s new team in place there.