A panel of appeals court judges ruled this week that the Department of Justice wrongly withheld some evidence, including a memo related to the Russia investigation, under the leadership of former Attorney General Bill Barr.
The memo, dated March 24, 2019, was written by the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and delivered to former AG Barr to review. Barr was charged with the decision of whether former president Donald Trump could be prosecuted based on the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s lengthy investigation into possible Trump ties with the Kremlin.
According to the appeals court ruling, the memo read, in part, “Mueller had declined to accuse President Trump of obstructing justice but also had declined to exonerate him.”
The court wrote, “the Report’s failure to take a definitive position could be read to imply an accusation against President Trump if released to the public.” While other documents from the DOJ were turned over to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics as part of a lawsuit filed by the group, with the March 24 memo heavily redacted.
“Because the Department did not tie the memorandum to deliberations about the relevant decision, the Department failed to justify its reliance on the deliberative-process privilege,” the panel of appeals judges wrote this week.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS
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