A federal judge ordered the Justice Department to release a 2019 internal memo from former Attorney General William P. Barr that stated Barr’s reasoning for declining to charge former President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the Justice Department two weeks to release the memo. She argued the information should not be hidden from the public.
The Obama appointed judge also spoke out against the Justice Department for its politically motivated reasons for concealing the memo.
“The agency’s redactions and incomplete explanations obfuscate the true purpose of the memorandum and the excised portions belie the notion that it fell to the attorney general to make a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at the time,” Jackson noted in her opinion.
“The agency’s redactions and incomplete explanations obfuscate the true purpose of the memorandum, and the excised portions belie the notion that it fell to the Attorney General to make a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at any time,” she added.
The Washington Times reported Judge Jackson’s ruling came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the liberal watchdog group, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington.
The ruling is not the first time Barr’s actions have been questioned. In a separate case in 2020, District Judge Reggie Walton “accused Attorney General William Barr of misrepresenting its findings in the days before it was submitted to Congress last year.”
Investigations against Trump have not ended with his departure from office. Groups continue to pursue legal means against him despite President Joe Biden now serving as president.