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Judge orders the Justice Department to publish Trump obstruction notes – NBC Chicago

A federal judge wrote a Trump-era Justice Department legal memorandum prepared for then-Attorney General William Barr before announcing the conclusion that President Donald Trump did not interfere with the judiciary during the Russian investigation. I ordered an announcement.

The Justice Department has refused to submit a March 24, 2019 memorandum of understanding to the government’s Transparency Group, which requested it under the Information Disclosure Act. This document represents the attorney’s personal advice and was prepared before a formal decision was made and is therefore exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.

However, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the US District Court said that when the Justice Department withdrew the document, it obscured “the true purpose of the memorandum.”

She has a memo from the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice that includes “strategic rather than legal advice,” and both authors and recipients already have a common understanding of what the prosecution’s decision will be. Said that. She said this meant it wasn’t “decisive,” as the department maintained.

“In other words, a review of the document reveals that the Attorney General was not subsequently involved in the decision on whether the president should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. The fact that he is not prosecuted It was natural, “Jackson said in an order on Monday.

Even if Special Advisor Robert Swan Mueller and his team did not reach that conclusion, the decision by Bar and senior Judiciary leaders to remove Trump’s obstruction was an important moment for the president. The four-page summary of the presentation and Mueller’s report preceded the publication of the 448-page document and helped shape public awareness of the conclusions of the study. Mueller then complained to Barr that his summary did not fully capture the findings and caused “national turmoil.”

Citizens for Washington’s Responsibility and Ethics on the decision to obstruct after Barr said he and other senior officials had reached that conclusion in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal guidance to the administration. I have submitted a public record request for contact.

At issue in the proceedings in dispute in front of the judge were two specific documents that the group wanted.

Jackson determined that one of the documents described as an “untitled, dateless statutory analysis” submitted by a Judiciary ministry official to the Attorney General as part of his decision was properly withheld from the group.

But she ordered the release of another memo. It concludes that the evidence gathered by Mueller’s team, created for Bar by then-Director of Legal Advisors and another senior Justice Department, does not support Trump’s sabotage charges. ..

At her order, Jackson said that the memo prepared for Bar and the letter from Bar to Congress explaining the special counsel’s report were “written by exactly the same people at the same time.”

“E-mail is not only working with the creator and recipient of the memorandum to produce the advice that the OLC is likely to provide, but the letter to Congress is a priority and is completed first. It shows that there is, “the judge wrote.

The judge said the Justice Department would need to file a petition to maintain the order until May 17.

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com.etuckerAP.



Judge orders the Justice Department to publish Trump obstruction notes – NBC Chicago

Source link Judge orders the Justice Department to publish Trump obstruction notes – NBC Chicago

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