U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson recently released a scathing judicial opinion focused on former Attorney General William Barr.
According to political commentator Byron York, however, her response to a case brought by the left-leaning group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reads more like a “35-page op-ed.”
“Hardly had time to skim”
In it, Jackson ordered the release of a legal memorandum from 2019 related to Barr’s handling of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
The same judge also presided over the prosecutions of former President Donald Trump’s one-time allies Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.
An appointee of former President Barack Obama, Jackson appeared to let her partisan bias show in the recently released opinion.
She spent much of the missive criticizing Barr for his “characterization” of the Mueller report.
In the judge’s opinion, Barr “hardly had time to skim” the document before releasing his response, which was followed by “politicians and pundits” who “took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball” based on the then-attorney general’s summary.
“Extraordinarily public rebuke”
That document, released in March 2019, announced that the special counsel probe had found no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump. Barr further asserted that there was not sufficient cause to prosecute Trump for obstruction of justice.
Jackson noted in her opinion that Mueller released “an extraordinary public rebuke” in response to Barr’s action at the time.
Mueller did write a letter claiming that Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusion.”
He went on to describe “public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation” as a result of the Barr report, insisting that the situation “threatens to undermine the central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
Barr has defended his summary amid backlash from Mueller and others, declaring that it “did not exonerate” Trump and merely “said that we did not believe that there was sufficient evidence to establish an obstruction offense,” according to the BBC.