April 17, 2021

Justice Department must release redacted portions of Mueller report dealing with criminal charges before Election Day, judge rules

  • The Department of Justice improperly redacted portions of the Mueller report, a US federal judge ruled Wednesday.
  • The censored parts of the report dealt with potential criminal charges, Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee, and the Trump campaign’s interest in stolen DNC emails, BuzzFeed reported.
  • US District Court Judge Reggie Walton said those segments of the report must be unredacted by November 2.
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The US Department of Justice improperly censored portions of the Mueller report dealing with potential criminal charges and Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

In response to a complaint brought by BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold, US District Judge Reggie Walton ruled that Attorney General William Barr’s department must release the redacted segments — including portions related to the 2016 Trump campaign’s interest in DNC emails stolen by Russia — by November 2, a day before the US election.

According to BuzzFeed, the ruling means the Justice Department “will be obliged to unveil at least 15 previously blacked-out pages from volume one of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report” on Russian electoral interference.

In March 2020, the same judge, appointed to the bench by former President George W. Bush, chastised Attorney General Barr for having issued a “distorted” and “misleading” summary of the Mueller report.

In March 2019, Barr falsely claimed that the report had exonerated Donald Trump, asserting that Mueller had found no evidence of coordination between the president’s 2016 campaign and Russia. In fact, the report detailed many contacts between the Trump camp and Russian government assets, though the special counsel said those contacts were not enough to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that crimes had occurred.

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