Judge criticizes the federal secretary of justice for his handling of the Mueller report

Judge Criticizes The Federal Secretary Of Justice For His Handling Of The Mueller Report

Washington, D.C. – A federal judge strongly criticized Justice Secretary William Barr on Thursday for his handling of the special prosecutor’s report on Russia, and said the official did a “calculated job” to alter the findings of the investigation in favor of President Donald Trump and which showed “lack of openness.”

District Judge Reggie Walton expressed his opinion in a 23-page ruling in which he said he would review the uncensored version of Robert Mueller’s report before deciding what additional information in the document can be publicly disclosed in a lawsuit under the Law of Access to Information.

The Justice Department released a censored 448-page version of the Mueller report in April, which investigated the links between Russia and the 2016 presidential campaign, as well as the possible obstruction of justice incurred by the president. BuzzFeed News and the Electronic Privacy Information Center later filed a lawsuit to access the entire document.

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In his ruling, Walton said he needed to review the document because he could not trust the Justice Department to edit the report properly and in good faith. The judge said it would be “dishonest” to assume that the issues were not “stained by the actions and interpretations of Secretary Barr” throughout the process.

Among the actions cited by the judge includes the dissemination last March of a four-page summary of Mueller’s findings. The special prosecutor complained that Barr had not adequately captured the seriousness of the conclusions of his report, and criticized a press conference that Barr offered in April that preceded the publication of the report.

The judge said he had trouble matching Barr’s public interpretations – including his statement that Mueller did not find “collusion” between Trump and Russia’s campaign – with what was said in the document.

These inconsistencies, Walton wrote, “cause the court to seriously question whether Secretary Barr made a calculated attempt to influence the public debate on the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings to the contrary in the edited version of the Report Mueller. “

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