Calling Attorney General William Barr’s account of the Mueller report “distorted” and “misleading,” George W. Bush appointee Judge Reggie Walton ordered the Trump Justice Department to give him an unredacted copy of the Mueller report.
Walton also said what the rest of thinking America has long known, which is that Barr’s credibility was in doubt due to misrepresenting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the report.
Walton accused Barr of spinning so much of the report, which investigated President Trump and his campaign for possibly conspiring with Russia to cheat the 2016 election and illegally obstructed the inquiry, that the court questioned if 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.”
Just Now: Seasoned judge, appointed by Republican president, says AG Barr's credibility is in doubt. Walton argues the way Barr spun Mueller investigation appeared "calculated" to help @realdonaldtrump and hurts DOJ credibility too. pic.twitter.com/BRqKoH2pY7
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) March 5, 2020
Judge Walton just ordered DOJ to turn over an unredacted copy of Mueller report by March 30 so he can review it to determine what can be further released publicly
This is what we hoped for! pic.twitter.com/c0B6ZD0vqc
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) March 5, 2020
“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 wrote.
“These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr’s lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr’s credibility.”
The court will get an unredacted Mueller report by March 30th. The will be looking to see if the Attorney General President Trump installed around regular order and has used as shield and political weapon against his “enemies” hid facts from the public when he misrepresented the findings of the report.
In March of 2019, Barr issued what he called a summary of the report, which deviated in its conclusion that Trump had been cleared of wrongdoing.
In late March, Mueller pushed newly handpicked Attorney General William Barr twice to release the summaries his investigative team prepared for the public, both before and after Barr misled the public about the team’s conclusions. Mueller had prepared already vetted and redacted versions of the report for the public, that Trump’s Justice Department hid from the American public while Barr gave his “summary” of a document we were not allowed to see for ourselves. “Mueller warned Barr that the summaries that were already prepared to be released shouldn’t have been delayed and the release of them as requested would be in accordance with the standard for public release of notifications to Congress.”
Meanwhile, Barr told the public that Mueller had left it to him to decide what to tell the public because Mueller had refused to make a prosecutorial judgment.
A month later when the DOJ released the redacted version after much pressure, Barr claimed his summary wasn’t so much a summary.
The redacted version of the Mueller report is bad enough. Mueller says in it that the Trump campaign was accepting help from the Russians, but Mueller wasn’t sure they knew it was illegal.
Cut to 2020, and Trump is once again using a foreign country to cheat in a U.S. election. Surely he knows by now that this is illegal.
Seeming crime boss Donald Trump has been given every privilege and allowed to break the law without consequence so often that the rule of law in this county has been seriously jeopardized. His campaign of international criminals didn’t fare so well, and at least six of them are in jail now.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.