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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/5/21

Judge orders release of secret memo in which Barr laid out his decision not to prosecute Trump

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Reprinted from by Mark Sumner

William Barr and Donald Trump
William Barr and Donald Trump
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On Monday evening, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., issued a ruling concerning former Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report. That ruling makes it clear that Barr's summary is nothing of the sort, that the information provided to Congress both then and later was intended to mislead, and that Barr was engaged in a pattern of deception in his testimony to both the Congress and the public.

The ruling was in response to a freedom of information request from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ("CREW"). What CREW was after in particular was a memo that was prepared on the same day that Barr drafted his four page "summary" of Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation. That memo supposedly provides Barr's reasoning for why Donald Trump should not have been prosecuted for the crimes alleged by the Mueller investigation, and in particular why Trump should not have to answer for multiple instances of lying to investigators and engaging in multiple counts of obstruction.

Though the existence of the memo has long been known, Barr argued that it did not have to be produced because it was "private advice" from lawyers consulted by Barr in making the determination about whether Trump should be prosecuted. Barr followed this up when he delivered his summary to Congress by saying that both he and assistant attorney general Rod Rosenstein had decided not to prosecute Trump "in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other department lawyers."

To say that Judge Jackson was scornful of Barr's claims is a drastic understatement. Instead, she saw evidence that Barr made his decision first, then backfilled to cover up a foregone conclusion. "The fact that [Trump] would not be prosecuted was a given," Judge Jackson wrote in her decision.

She has ordered the DOJ to produce the memo.

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