Home » Posts tagged 'Mueller Report'

Tag Archives: Mueller Report

Our mission

Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Appeals court rules DOJ must give sealed Mueller materials to Congress

Appeals court rules DOJ must give sealed Mueller materials to Congress By Harper Neidig – 03/10/20 12:27 PM EDT

“A federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Tuesday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) must hand over grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to Congress.”

“A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s decision that the House’s impeachment inquiry justified its request for the sealed documents.”

‘”In short, it is the district court, not the Executive or the Department, that controls access to the grand jury materials at issue here,” Judge Judith Rogers wrote in an opinion for the panel’s 2-1 majority. “The Department has objected to disclosure of the redacted grand jury materials, but the Department has no interest in objecting to the release of these materials outside of the general purposes and policies of grand jury secrecy, which as discussed, do not outweigh the Committee’s compelling need for disclosure.”‘

The decision is at https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/E5DEA16F3BB4D8BD8525852700599D47/$file/19-5288-1832741.pdf

co-published on govdoc-l and freegovinfo.info.

Federal judge questions Barr’s credibility and orders review of Mueller report redactions

Federal judge questions Barr’s credibility and orders review of Mueller report redactions. By Amanda Robert, Legal Affairs Writer. MARCH 6, 2020, 10:30 AM CST https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/federal-judge-questions-barrs-credibility-and-orders-review-of-full-mueller-report

‘A federal judge said on Thursday he had “grave concerns about the objectivity” of Attorney General William Barr and his handling of the Muller report’s release last year. In his opinion, Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said he would conduct his own independent review of the unredacted version of the report to assess if the Department of Justice properly withheld portions from the public under the Freedom of Information Act. “True to the oath that the undersigned took upon becoming a federal judge, and the need for the American public to have faith in the judicial process, considering the record in this case, the Court must conclude that the actions of Attorney General Barr and his representations about the Mueller Report preclude the Court’s acceptance of the validity of the Department’s redactions without its independent verification,” the judge wrote.’

ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION ) CENTER, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Defendant. Civil Action No. 19-810 (RBW) and JASON LEOPOLD & BUZZFEED, INC., Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., Defendants. Civil Action No. 19-957 (RBW) http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2020/images/03/05/uenrosj.pdf

‘These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr’s lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr’s credibility and in turn, the Department’s representation that “all of the information redacted from the version of the [Mueller] Report released by [ ] Attorney General [Barr]” is protected from disclosure by its claimed FOIA exemptions. Brinkmann Decl. ¶ 11 (emphasis added). In the Court’s view, Attorney General 20 Barr’s representation that the Mueller Report would be “subject only to those redactions required by law or by compelling law enforcement, national security, or personal privacy interests” cannot be credited without the Court’s independent verification in light of Attorney General Barr’s conduct and misleading public statements about the findings in the Mueller Report, id., Ex. 7 (April 18, 2019 Letter) at 3, and it would be disingenuous for the Court to conclude that the redactions of the Mueller Report pursuant to the FOIA are not tainted by Attorney General Barr’s actions and representations. And, despite the Department’s representation that it “review[ed] the full unredacted [Mueller] Report for disclosure pursuant to the FOIA,” Brinkmann Decl. ¶ 11, the Court cannot ignore that the Department’s withholdings under the FOIA exemptions mirror the redactions made pursuant to Attorney General Barr’s guidance, which cause the Court to question whether the redactions are self-serving and were made to support, or at the very least to not undermine, Attorney General Barr’s public statements and whether the Department engaged in post-hoc rationalization to justify Attorney General Barr’s positions.’ P19-20

co-published on govdoc-l and freegovinfo.info.

to make available or not to make available that is the question

Over a year’s time I have contacted the Department of Justice webmaster four times about making two letters and two memos available officially.

The first inquiry pertained to the agency making Attorney General Barr’s letter available where he interpreted Special Counsel Mueller’s report as exonerating the President. They responded within 72 hours that they would.
letter: https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1167086/download
Remarks: https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-release-report-investigation-russian

Shortly after, when Mueller released his letter responding to Barr’s characterization of the report and conclusions, I asked that they make it available. They never responded.

When the President wrote a memo that authorized Barr to declassify any information solely at his discretion, I asked that the Department make it available. The webmaster responded that the memo was the President’s and therefore they could not make it available. I had checked the Whitehouse’s and Department’s websites before inquiring to see if it was there. Soon after the webmaster’s response, I checked the Whitehouse website again, and the memo was there. Since then It has been removed but published in the Compilation of Presidential Documents. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/DCPD-201900335/pdf/DCPD-201900335.pdf

Three weeks ago when Barr issued his memo to all staff that conducting investigations pertaining to the election and politics during an election year needed to seek approval at the highest level.
Pierre Thomas, an ABC correspondent, interviewed Barr about the memo and other matters. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transcript-attorney-general-bill-barrs-exclusive-interview-abc/story?id=68975178. I asked the Department to make the memo available. I didn’t receive a response. I followed up a week later about my initial inquiry and still haven’t received a response.

co-published on govdoc-l and freegovinfo.info.