Appeals court-DOJ improperly redacted Barr obstruction memo

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19 Aug 2022, 12:02 pm

Appeals court says DOJ improperly redacted memo to AG Barr on Trump obstruction

The Department of Justice (DOJ) improperly shielded portions of a memo to Attorney General William Barr that concerned whether former President Trump obstructed a special counsel probe into his campaign’s dealings with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Friday.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed a federal judge’s May 2021 decision that the DOJ had improperly redacted parts of the Trump-era legal memo that should have been made public as part of a government watchdog’s records request lawsuit.

But the D.C. Circuit Court panel on Friday, affirming the lower court’s decision, ruled that the DOJ had failed to prove that the so-called deliberative-process privilege justified keeping the records under wraps.

The panel said the OLC memo did not in fact contain a legal analysis of whether Barr should pursue charges against Trump, but rather what, if anything, Barr should say to Congress and the public about Mueller’s voluminous findings.

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