Judge Reggie B. Walton, a federal district court judge in Washington who was appointed by President George W. Bush, is demanding an unredacted version of the Mueller Report from the DOJ by March 30, 2020. The Court questions if the redactions were “tainted by Attorney General Barr’s actions and representations.”
You can view the entire document below.
In a court document, he suggests Attorney General Barr created “a one-sided narrative about the Mueller Report” that was “at odds with the redacted version.”
Further, the Court could no reconcile Barr’s public representations of the report with the redacted report’s findings. As such, the Court questioned if Barr made a “calculated attempt to influence public discourse” to favor President Trump. (page 19)
Notably, Judge Walton suggests the DOJ under Attorney General Barr, “dubious[ly] handl[ed] [ ] the public release of the Mueller Report.”
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
The Court questioned Barr’s public representations of the report as well as the letter Barr delivered to Congress about the report’s principal conclusions. Mueller later responded in his own letter stating that Barr “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of his work.
“These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr’s lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr’s credibility” as well as the DOJ’s arguments in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit,” Walton stated.
In the analysis section, the court document notes (page 16) that the Court agreed with Mueller that Barr “distorted the findings” of the report.
“…a review of the redacted version of the Mueller Report by the Court results in the Court’s concurrence with Special Counsel Mueller’s assessment that Attorney General Barr distorted the findings in the Mueller Report. Specifically, Attorney General Barr’s summary failed to indicate that Special Counsel Mueller’ identified multiple contacts—‘links,’ in the words of the Appointment Order—between Trump [c]ampaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government.'”
Finally, the Court called for in camera review of the unredacted Mueller Report to determine if the redactions could be revealed through FOIA request. The FOIA lawsuits were brought by Buzzfeed journalist Jason Leopold and the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center.