Justice Department publishes unredacted Bar memo detailing decision not to indict Trump in Russia investigation

The nine-page memo was released Wednesday as part of a lawsuit relating to public records linked to the Mueller investigation. A highly revised version of the memo was previously released in 2021, but A federal court ordered Ministry of Justice to make the complete document available to the public.

Stephen Engel and Ed O’Callaghan wrote in the document, which concludes with a formal recommendation against indictment of Trump, signed and approved by Barr on March 24, 2019.

This is the same date that The most dangerous congress bar His decision not to impeach Trump, which Mueller and legal analysts later criticized for it cherry picking From the Mueller Report.
The memo contains a legal analysis that was submitted to Barr. Two federal courts involved in the public records case concluded that Bar Did not actually rely on the note For legal advice, he did not seriously consider indicting Trump, he had already made his decision before he was assigned the warrant, and he signed the warrant after notifying Congress of his decision.
Last week, in ruling that the full memo should be released, the Federal Court of Appeals called the memo an “academic exercise” or “thought experiment” intended to advance the public release of Barr’s controversial decision against Trump’s impeachment. The lawsuit It was brought in by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group.

How did Barr break up with Mueller?

In the memo, Barr’s deputies criticized Mueller’s analysis of related obstruction issues and said Trump should not be indicted because, among other reasons, “there is no precedent” and claims that Mueller was unable to find a single similar case with “remotely similar circumstances.” ”

“In every successful obstruction case cited in the (Mueller) report, acts of corruption were committed to prevent the investigation and prosecution of a separate crime,” Barr’s aides said in their memo. “The existence of such an offense is not a necessary element to prove an obstruction charge, but the absence of primary guilt is pertinent and robust evidence.”

Muller concluded that there were several incidents with Strong evidence of blockage by Trump. But Barr’s deputies argued that Trump “mostly tried to tweak the process under the Special Counsel’s investigation,” but did not attempt to “intentionally alter the evidence,” which could be more serious and potentially criminal.
Specifically, Barr’s representatives concluded that Trump did not break the law in any of the incidents highlighted by Mueller. This includes Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and his former boss Request to Comey To facilitate the criminal investigation of his former chief adviser Michael Flynn.

The President’s expression of ‘hope’ that Comey ‘will leave this matter’ did not clearly direct a particular action in the Flynn investigation, and Comey did not respond at the time as if he had received a direct order from the President. MPs wrote in the internal memo.

Barr’s aides gave some credence to the idea that Trump may have committed obstruction by telling him Don McGahn, White House Counselor, to write a memo saying he never tried to fire Mueller. Barr’s aides admit that Trump likely knew this was not true, but “there is insufficient evidence to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that the president sought to persuade McGahn to lie.”
The release of the unredacted memo comes as the Justice Department is investigating Trump again for possible obstruction of justice — this time in connection with a criminal investigation into the Whether he mishandled confidential documents Which he took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Catelyn Bolantes, Evan Perez, Hana Rabinovich, and Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

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