In a scathing decision, D.C. District Court Judge Reggie Walton has ordered Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s Department of Justice to produce for his eyes only the full and unredacted Mueller Report. In his no-holds-barred opinion, Judge Walton specifically and directly accused the Attorney General of the United States of misrepresenting the report both to the public and Congress.
Judge Walton ordered that the report be in his hands no later than yesterday, March 30, in order that he may determine whether it should be released publicly.
Judge Walton’s decision is in response to a BuzzFeed News lawsuit against Barr and DOJ which sought to lift the redactions from the report and then publicize it in toto.
The Mueller Report lays out the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s involvement with the thoroughly documented Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Judge Walton was merciless in his characterization of the attorney general’s handling of the investigation and the release of the report. He wrote, for example, that Barr’s public comments in April of 2019 about the report did not square with the report’s actual findings and were deliberately and consciously misleading to the public. Both Barr’s public comments and four-page “summary” of the report prior to its release were filled with “inconsistencies,” Judge Walton charged. He also said that he was greatly “troubled” by Barr’s actions, including the “haste” with which Barr released that initial letter.
In Judge Walton’s own words:
“The inconsistencies between attorney general Barr’s statements, made at a time when the public did not have access to the redacted version of the Mueller report to assess the veracity of his statements, and portions of the redacted version of the Mueller report that conflict with those statements cause the court to seriously question whether attorney general Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller report to the contrary.”