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Justice Department ordered to release memo on why Trump wasn’t charged in Mueller probe

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to release a confidential memo that former Attorney General William Barr cited as justification for not charging ex-President Donald Trump with obstructing Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.

The March 24, 2019, memo was crafted by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to review the Mueller report’s refusal to exonerate Trump of obstruction — and Barr leaned heavily on the document in declining to charge the former president with a crime.

Still, Barr never released the memo publicly, prompting government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to sue the Justice Department on freedom of information grounds.

In a ruling released Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with CREW and ordered the department to release the memo because she wrote that it obscured the document’s “true purpose” in withholding it.

Despite Barr’s claims to the contrary, Berman wrote that the memo contained “strategic, as opposed to legal advice” and that both the Office of Legal Counsel and the attorney general knew beforehand that there would not be any attempt by the Justice Department to charge Trump with a crime.

 

—New York Daily News

Biden says he expects to meet Putin during June Europe trip

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said his team is working to schedule a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Europe next month.

A June meeting is “my hope and expectation,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. “We’re working on it,” he added.

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