Attorney General Bill Barr got his a** handed to him in federal court this week when US District Judge Reggie Walton ruled that he misrepresented the Mueller report in favor of President Donald Trump and is therefore non-credible.
The final Mueller report on the Russia investigation detailed the Trump campaign’s multiple contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign and detailed multiple instances of Trump committing obstruction of justice to undermine the probe. Yet Bill Barr, who had just been newly installed as the Attorney General, delayed release of the report until he could release a letter misrepresenting what it said, basically absolving Trump even though the report did no such thing.
Of particular interest are the portions of the Mueller report that Barr redacted to protect Trump, which House Democrats are seeking to obtain via the courts. And they scored a victory when Judge Walton skewered Barr in a ruling.
“The actions of Attorney General Barr and his representations about the Mueller Report preclude the Court’s acceptance of the validity of the Department’s redactions without its independent verification,” Walton wrote. “The court will conduct an independent review of the unredacted version of the Mueller Report to determine whether it concurs with the Department’s determination.”
Walton also questioned Barr’s credibility, writing that he displayed a “lack of candor,” the very same charge leveled against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The judge also wrote that Barr engaged in a calculated effort to mislead the public on the report before releasing it.
Legal experts have since weighed in on the opinion and took shots at Barr, who has also aided Trump’s effort to seize the Justice Department to turn it into a political weapon.
The revelation that Barr was misleading in his public representations about the Mueller Report is nothing new, but quite remarkable to see a federal judge write it in a legal decision. https://t.co/wtWhHFtIlX
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) March 6, 2020
No fair minded person could see this any other way. Barr deliberately misled the public in the run-up to the release of the redacted Mueller report. https://t.co/AjPvBRPFYs
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 5, 2020
This is an extraordinary opinion. A federal judge finds that Barr exhibited a “lack of candor” and “made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump” in releasing his letter summarizing the report https://t.co/UeHldtusUu
— Daniel Jacobson (@Dan_F_Jacobson) March 5, 2020
This is remarkable. A federal judge (appointed by GW Bush) says it flat-out: “AG Barr’s lack of candor specifically call[s] into question Barr’s credibility.”
Every prosecutor is taught early and often: Without your credibility, you’ve got nothing.
Barr is unfit to serve. https://t.co/bG2Wnqbi6g
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) March 5, 2020
Booster rocket🚀to add to Judge Walton’s conclusions about Barr’s misrepresentations of #MuellerReport in Barr’s summary:
1. Barr’s summary letter was not just for the public. It was a formal statement sent to Congress!
2. Intentional false statement to Congress is a crime! https://t.co/uJIUlsHRr6
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) March 5, 2020
The judge agrees to take the unusual step of reviewing the full Mueller report to see if DOJ’s redactions are legally correct in a case where journalists seek it. Extraordinary language about the court’s view of how AG Barr handles of the release. https://t.co/jE4n3TImST
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 5, 2020
This is just not the type of thing you read from federal judges about the attorney general. The fact he felt the need to go this far shows some real concern about the rot inside DOJ. https://t.co/8FGRnsEKW4
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) March 5, 2020
I’ve never seen a federal judge say this about a sitting Attorney General. Ever. https://t.co/8E5UT83brQ
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) March 5, 2020
Barr is clearly unfit to remain as Attorney General. He has acted as Trump’s protector ever since he took office, and his actions are unbecoming and disgraceful. It was already clear that Barr misled the public, but now a federal judge just wrote it in an opinion. If Barr has any respect for the Justice Department and the rule of law, he’ll resign immediately and beg for forgiveness for being Trump’s lapdog and help bring him down. Because had he done his job in the first place, the Mueller report would have been enough to end Trump’s presidency a year ago.
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