Notable New Data

Pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, today the Biden administration released an unredacted version of the memo Bill Barr received recommending against obstruction of justice charges tied to President Trump’s actions detailed in volume two of the Mueller Report. That was the part of the Report that made the case about obstruction of justice.

To understand the context, these were two Trump appointees (Steven A. Engel and Edward C. O’Callaghan) working under Barr, who had made clear publicly prior to his nomination as attorney general that he did not think the Mueller investigation was merited or proper. So this is essentially two of Barr’s subordinates preparing a memo for Barr containing what all involved knew Barr wanted to hear.

Still, it is a notable document for understanding the internal reasoning and justifications. Also important: We know there is a longstanding DOJ policy that holds that a sitting President cannot be prosecuted at all. This memo sets that question aside and simply looks at whether prosecution would be merited in any case. Worth a read.

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