The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article (updated today) about a appeal by the Biden administration’s justice department to prevent a memo about the Russian collusion charges against President Trump from being released.
The article reports:
The Biden administration said Monday that it would appeal a judge’s order directing it to release a memo explaining why Attorney General Bill Barr didn’t choose to prosecute President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice by allegedly thwarting Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
But it also agreed to make a brief portion of the document public, which shows that two senior Justice Department leaders advised Barr that, in their view, Mueller’s evidence could not support an obstruction conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson earlier this month ordered Biden’s DOJ to release the entire March 2019 memo as part of a public records lawsuit from a Washington-based advocacy organization.
She said the department, under Attorney General William Barr, had misstated the purpose of the document in arguing that it was legally entitled to withhold it from the group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
In a motion filed late Monday, the deadline for deciding whether it would comply with the judge’s decision or appeal it, the Justice Department said that it continued to believe even that the full document should be exempt from disclosure.
It appears Biden’s DOJ took the decision to avoid setting a new precedent where more sensitive internal documents would have to be released, Politico reported.
Presidents and administrations of both parties have constantly fought to keep these documents secret.
The article concludes:
The department said the decision before the attorney general was not whether to prosecute Trump since the indictment of a sitting president is precluded by longstanding Justice Department policy. Rather, the question that the memo set out to address was whether the facts gathered by Mueller could warrant a criminal case. That question, the government says, was a genuine decision that had to be made.
‘The Attorney General´s determination on that point – and on what, if anything, to say to the public about that question – undoubtedly qualifies as a decision, even if it could not have resulted in an actual prosecution of the sitting President,’ Justice Department lawyers wrote.
‘There was no legal bar to determining that the evidence did or did not establish commission of a crime, a determination the Attorney General made and announced,’ they added.
In a letter to AG Merrick Garland on May 14, Senate Democrats urged him not to appeal the court’s order to ‘help rebuild the nation’s trust in independence after four years of turmoil’.
The group of Senators lead by Majority Whip Dick Durbin wrote: ‘DOJ’s actions in this case, and in another recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case seeking information about President Trump’s activities, have raised doubts about DOJ’s candor when characterizing potential evidence of President Trump’s misconduct to courts.
‘To be clear, these misrepresentations preceded your confirmation as Attorney General, but the Department you now lead bears responsibility for redressing them.
‘In that light, and in order to help rebuild the nation’s trust in DOJ’s independence after four years of turmoil, we urge DOJ not to appeal D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s May 3 decision to order the release of this OLC memo.’
One of the true successes of the Trump administration was to expose the corruption that runs rampant in Washington. It is not surprising that the cadre of people who fought so hard to keep President Trump from exposing that corruption are still fighting to keep their actions hidden. I agree with a friend who posted on Facebook that Washington is not a swamp–it’s a sewer–a swamp has some ecological value!