Mueller Memo Advising Barr on Trump Findings Is Ordered Released.

The US Justice Department should issue a 2019 memo advising then-Attorney General Bill Barr on how to handle the conclusion of the Mueller investigation and not accuse Donald Trump of a federal appeals court-ruled department’s decision.

A 3-0 decision Friday by a panel of judges from the Court of Appeals in Washington upholds a lower court that ordered the department to make the March 2019 document public.

After discovering that a DOJ attorney failed to describe it accurately. The district judge found that the memo was about the kind of public statement Barr should have made on the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Not about whether he believes the Justice Department should seriously consider whether charges should be brought against Trump. The memo to Barr came at the end of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump tried to interfere with the investigation.

Mueller’s team declined to make recommendations on whether to accuse Trump, and Barr said the evidence was not enough to prosecute.

Public message
The Justice Department opposed releasing Barr to the full office of legal counsel in response to a public records request from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson found last year that the department suggested the memo was privileged because it contained sensitive pre-judgment deliberations on whether Trump could be charged with obstructing the special counsel’s investigation.

The department issued a revised version of the memo, and Jackson agreed to keep the rest in seal while the government appealed.

But the U.S. For the District of Columbia Circuit, the Court of Appeals noted in its decision Friday, when it became clear that DOJ officials had long been relying on the department’s policy against prosecuting the current president.

The memo was instead about the department’s public messaging, Mueller reports. Attorney General Barr said in a statement that Justice spokesman Jordan Leibovitz did not cite the memo accusing President Trump of obstructing.

Thought experiment
DC Circuit Chief Justice Srinivasan, who was joined by judges Judith Rogers and David Tattel, wrote that any analysis about bringing disability fees into the memo was a thought experiment.

Srinivasan noted that the department regretted leaving the misconception that a genuine fee decision was being considered, but wrote that it missed opportunities to address the real purpose of the memorandum.

The court rejected the government’s request to give the matter one more chance to keep the entire memo a secret. Srinivasan wrote that the Justice Department would have successfully argued for keeping the memo sealed if it had disclosed the purpose of the public message from the outset.

 

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