U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a blistering rebuke of the Department of Justice and former Attorney General Bill Barr, accusing the department of misleading the court and Congress about the Mueller Investigation and how Barr came to the decision not to charge then-President Trump with obstruction of justice. Judge Jackson’s ruling, which came late Monday, also ordered the DOJ to release a secret memo related to the case and Barr’s decision to ultimately let Trump off the hook. While he was running the Justice Department, Barr actively fought its release, claiming it was protected because it involved private advice from lawyers Barr consulted with. Judge Jackson shot that down, saying the memo was full of “strategic advice.”
Rachel Maddow went over the judge’s excoriation of Barr in great detail on her MSNBC show. The full video is above and well worth a watch.
Surprise! What we thought happened, happened. pic.twitter.com/IBm9kGsSGE
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) May 5, 2021
In her ruling, the judge said the interference by Barr’s Justice Department into the Trump probe appeared to be part of a pattern in which top officials, particularly Barr himself, were untruthful to Congress and the public about the investigation. She specifically noted Barr’s widely-criticized interpretation of the Mueller Report, in which he summarized the 448-page report in a four-page letter that gave Trump cover to falsely claim he had been exonerated.
“The attorney general’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball.”
This ruling once again shines a harsh light on Barr and how his department appeared to be protecting former president Trump from the fallout of Mueller’s probe. Rep. Ted Lieu said it’s time for Congress to be able to see the unredacted Mueller report.
The DOJ, which is now run by Biden appointee Merrick Garland, has until May 17 to appeal the ruling to hand over the memo. This all began after a lawsuit for the release of the memo was filed by the group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW).