The Biden administration has decided to fight to keep most of a Justice Department memo from the Trump-era related to the controversial 2019 statement by former Attorney General William P. Barr in which President Donald J. Trump is exempted from illegal obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.
in the a nightly registration MondayThe Justice Department appealed part of a District Court decision ordering the entire memo to be published. At the same time, it was written that Mr. Barr sent a letter to Congress claiming that the evidence in the then-secret report by Special Envoy Robert S. Mueller III was insufficient to charge Mr. Trump with a crime.
The Justice Department has released the first page and a half of the nine-page memo. While Mr Miller had refused to pass judgment on what the evidence brought together because the department’s policy was not to indict a seated president, the memo stated that Mr Barr was entitled to make a decision to the public Shape understanding of the report.
The Mueller report itself, which Mr. Barr was allowed to publish weeks after his letter to Congress, had created the impression that the fruits of Mr. Mueller’s investigation had cleared Mr. Trump of the obstruction. It contained several actions by Mr Trump that many legal specialists said were clearly sufficient to ask a grand jury to charge him with obstruction of justice.
These actions included attempting to harass his White House attorney Donald F. McGahn II to forge a record to cover up a previous attempt by Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Miller and a possible pardon for Mr. To impose Trump’s former election chairman. Paul Manafort to encourage him not to work with investigators.
The Justice Department’s new filing also apologized and defended the Barr-era court files, which Judge Amy Berman Jackson had described as “insincere.” They could have been written more clearly, but were still correct.
“The government acknowledges that its pleadings could have been clearer and deeply regrets the confusion it has caused,” the Justice Department said. “But the government attorney and registrants had no intention of misleading the court, and the government respectfully submits” that missteps still did not warrant the publication of the entire memo.
Mr Barr’s claim – which he made weeks before the Mueller paper was released – that the evidence gathered showed that Mr Trump did not commit a criminal offense of disability has been widely criticized as deeply misleading.
Among other things, a government monitoring group, CREW, filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act in the US District Court in Washington to request disclosure of an internal memo on the matter.
Earlier this month, Judge Jackson issued a damning ruling on the case alleging that the Barr-era Justice Department was “insincere” to that court about the nature of the memo in court records, arguing that it could be lawfully kept secret under an exception preliminary considerations. She wrote that she made the discovery after insisting that she read it herself.
While the Barr-era Justice Department advised her that the memo concerned considerations about whether Mr. Trump should be charged with disability, the memo itself indicated that Mr. Barr had already decided not to, and the memo dealt with instead Strategy and arguments that could be applied to discard the idea. She ordered the entire document released.
The Biden-era Justice Department had until Monday to respond. In its filing, she acknowledged that her previous filings “could have been clearer and deeply regrets the confusion it has caused”. However, it also insisted that its “statements and pleadings were correct and submitted in good faith.”
The decision Mr. Barr actually made was, according to the department, a matter of determining whether the evidence would be sufficient to indict Mr. Trump one day – rather than whether he should be charged at that moment, as the department’s longstanding legal policy is Sitting should consider presidents who are temporarily protected from prosecution during their term in office.
And it said the legal analysis in the second part of the memo – the part you want to keep secret – was in fact decided beforehand, even though the memo was finalized after Mr Barr made his decision because it was a memorial to the legal counsel that the department’s attorneys had previously given to the attorney general.