A federal judge has ordered the Department of Justice to turn over a memo cited by then-Attorney General Bill Barr as his reasoning not to charge President Trump with obstruction of justice as part of a lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
When Barr delivered the Mueller Report to Congress, he said that there was not sufficient evidence to charge Trump, a decision made “in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department lawyers.” Barr and the Department of Justice have refused to turn over the OLC memo, which led to the lawsuit from CREW.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the contents of the memo “call into question the accuracy of Attorney General Barr’s March 24 representation to Congress,” specifically that Mueller had left it to the attorney general to determine whether the conduct his report describes is a crime, and that OLC’s description of the document “served to obscure the true purpose of the memorandum,” which CREW argued was to help Barr spin his version of the Mueller Report.
After reviewing the OLC memo, Judge Jackson found that it “raises serious questions about how the Department of Justice could make this series of representations to a court,” concluding that “It is time for the public to see that [the memo], too.”
In ordering the document turned over to CREW, Judge Jackson gave the government two weeks to respond with its course of action.