Federal judge orders release of memo on alleged Trump obstruction

Seeking transparency for Justice Department proceedings under former Attorney General William Barr, a federal judge ordered the release of a memo justifying its decision not to prosecute former President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. In a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, department attorneys claimed the memo contained only an advisory on the matter and as such was an exception under the public records law, but Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the memo came after the decision was made (Politico, May 4, 2021, by Josh Gerstein)

Jackson was scathing in her finding that the “DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court with respect to the existence of a decision-making process that should be shielded by the deliberative process privilege.” She continued, “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.” (The Hill, May 4, 2021, by Harper Neidig)

For related FAC coverage, click here and here.