Politics - News Analysis
Senate Dems Demand DOJ Release Barr’s Memo Justifying Not Charging Trump for Obstruction of Justice
It is always nice to hear some good news and Wednesday was a good day for the Democrats. Biden did very well in Europe. Joe Manchin was caught on tape bullshitting about his position on the filibuster, and now Senate Democrats have decided they’re not waiting on Merrick Garland’s inexplicable decision to appeal the district judge’s ruling to release Barr’s memo justifying not charging Donald Trump. According to the letter sent by eleven Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee:
“Although these memos predate your confirmation as Attorney General, the Department you now lead bears responsibility for ensuring the [Department of Justice Office of Counsel] is not misused to justify harmful policies or inappropriately conceal information from Congress. Please provide the memo, or your legal justification for withholding it, to the Committee by June 30, 2021 … We look forward to a prompt reply.”
The reply will not be prompt. Garland is going to have to think this through.
Greg Sargent writes in the Washington Post:
Stay up-to-date with the latest news!
Subscribe and start recieving our daily emails.
“The memo is important because it could shed light on how the department — and, more broadly, the rule of law — were deeply corrupted to help Trump escape accountability for potential crimes. After special counsel Robert S. Mueller III documented extensive potential criminal obstruction by Trump, Barr declined to prosecute. Importantly, in clearing Trump, Barr sent a letter to the Senate and House judiciary committees that badly misrepresented Mueller’s findings, while declaring that his decision not to prosecute was not driven by precedent dictating that sitting presidents are immune from prosecution.”
That last sentence is important. Barr was attempting to clear Trump. In saying that his decision to not prosecute wasn’t based on Trump being president, he attempted to bind anyone who might inherit the office, especially a Democrat. But given that a federal judge has already ruled that it be released, calling it “disingenuous,” it would seem that Barr’s rationale will not bind anyone.
It does need to be disclosed and we are at a loss to explain why Garland decided to appeal the district judge’s ruling. Yes, precedent would have him try to maintain the Department’s position, but everything about the Trump DOJ was unprecedented and Bill Barr’s handling of the Mueller report was one of the lowest points.
Wednesday was a good day to be a Democrat.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak