Justice Department Hits Back After Judge Slams AG Bill Barr

Justice Department Hits Back After Judge Slams AG Bill Barr, Orders DOJ to Turn Over Unredacted Mueller Report.
The Justice Department released a statement in response to a federal judge’s criticisms of US Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the Weissmann Mueller report. Federal Judge Reggie B. Walton, a George W. Bush appointee on Thursday ordered the DOJ to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report.

 AG Bill Barr

Thursday’s order was in response to a FOIA lawsuit brought by Buzzfeed’s Jason Leopold. The Judge said US Attorney General Bill Barr ‘lacked candor’ and accused him of intentionally creating a misleading summary of ‘principal conclusions’ to create a “one-sided narrative” about the Mueller report.

“The inconsistencies between Attorney General Barr’s statements, made at a time when the public did not have access to the redacted version of the Mueller Report to assess the veracity of his statements, and portions of the redacted version of the Mueller Report that conflict with those statements cause the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the contrary,” Walton said.

The Judge said he wants to review an unredacted copy of Mueller’s report before making a decision on whether to make the redactions subject to FOIA. The DOJ hit back and said “the court’s assertions were contrary to the facts.” “The original redactions in the public report were made by Department attorneys, in consultation with senior members of Special Counsel Mueller’s team, prosecutors in US Attorney’s Offices, and members of the Intelligence Community,” the DOJ said.

“In response to FOIA requests, the entire report was then reviewed by career attorneys, including different career attorneys with expertise in FOIA cases — a process in which the Attorney General played no role.”

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