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Judge orders release of DOJ memo justifying not to prosecute Trump

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Examination of the document reveals that the Attorney General was not then engaged in making the decision as to whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice; it was obvious that he would not be prosecuted, wrote Jackson, a person appointed by former President Barack Obama.

Jackson linked the Justice Department’s efforts to keep the memo a secret to Barrs’ initial descriptions of Mueller’s findings, saying both efforts were misleading.

Not only was the Attorney General dishonest at the time, but the DOJ was dishonest to this Court regarding the existence of a decision-making process that should be protected by the privilege of deliberative process ”, she wrote. obscure the true purpose of the brief, and the excised parties belies the idea that it was up to the Attorney General to make a prosecution decision or that such a decision was on the table at all times.

Justice Department attorneys also argued that the memo was covered by attorney-client privilege, but Jackson said much of it did not appear to contain legal advice or conclusions. The Court is not persuaded that the agency met its onus of showing that the note was transmitted for the purpose of providing legal advice, as opposed to strategic and political advice that is not privileged, a writes the judge.

Jackson noted that another Washington-based federal judge, Reggie Walton, had previously criticized Barrs’ early description of the Mueller report. She said the criticism was valid.

Jackson released her opinion in part on Monday after reviewing the memo itself, a process she noted the Justice Department strongly resisted. She withheld parts that include the details of the memorandum of the version of her decision that has been made public.

The Justice Department can appeal Jacksons’ decision to force release of the memo.

A ministry spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision. Efforts to reach the former officials named in the decision for comment were unsuccessful.

The freedom of information complaint Jackson tried on Monday was filed in 2019 by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

While it’s not clear if this influenced his decision, Jackson had a close-up view of one of the biggest firestorms of Barr’s tenure as attorney general: his decision to quash first-time prosecutors. line and effectively withdraw their recommendation of seven to nine. one year in prison for President Donald Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone for lying to Congress and tampering with witnesses. Jackson, who was Stone’s trial judge, did not openly criticize Barr’s decision, but made it clear to the court that she believed it deviated from the administration’s stated policy on determining worth it.

Jackson ended up sentencing Stone to three and a half years in prison, but Trump commuted the sentence and ultimately pardoned Stone.

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