A federal judge Thursday criticized Attorney General William Barr for his handling of the Mueller report when it was released last spring, saying Barr’s early description of the report didn’t match the special counsel’s actual conclusions.
Judge Reggie Walton asked if Barr’s actions were a “calculated attempt” to help President Donald Trump and opined the attorney general had a “lack of candor” with the public and Congress.
“The Court cannot reconcile certain public representations made by Attorney General Barr with the findings in the Mueller Report,” Walton wrote on Thursday.
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Barr could not be trusted, Judge Reggie B. Walton said, citing “inconsistencies” between the attorney general’s statements about the report when it was secret and its actual contents that turned out to be more damaging to President Trump. Mr. Barr’s “lack of candor” called into question his “credibility and, in turn, the department’s” assurances to the court, Judge Walton said.
The judge ordered the Justice Department to privately show him the portions of the report that were censored in the publicly released version so he could independently verify the justifications for those redactions. The ruling came in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking a full-text version of the report.