U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton criticized Attorney General William Barr on Thursday over his summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into allegations of Russia “collusion” when it was released last year.
Barr announced on March 24, 2019, that Mueller had found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and had not drawn conclusions “one way or the other” about obstruction of justice.
Democrats alleged that Barr had concealed evidence damaging to President Donald Trump. Mueller himself wrote to Barr complaining that his summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the report.
However, Mueller did not contradict the essence of Barr’s summary, either then or when he testified before Congress last July.
Still, Democrats have continued to pursue details from the report and Mueller’s grand jury.
In the case before the district court, Buzzfeed and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which has been funded by billionaire left-wing donor George Soros, filed a FOIA request for the unredacted Mueller Report.
Judge Walton announced in Thursday’s opinion that he would conduct an independent review of redactions by the Department of Justice, saying that Barr may have summarized it too quickly and could have been trying to “create a one-sided narrative” about the Mueller Report.
The judge also said that Barr’s decision to call a press conference to discuss the report was suspicious, and accused the Attorney General of a “lack of candor.”
Some on left are elated about the judge’s ruling.
Judge Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, also once served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has come under criticism for allowing the FBI to conduct unjust surveillance of President Trump’s 2016 campaign (though not under Walton).
He also presided over the trial of Scooter Libby, widely viewed as a miscarriage of justice. President Trump pardoned Libby in 2018.
Walton also held that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice interfered in the prosecution of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in 2008. He awarded legal costs to True the Vote in its case involving IRS targeting of conservative groups.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.