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Tag: special counsel investigation

Judge Accuses Barr of Misleading Public about Special Counsel Investigation of Trump

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

A federal judge accused former Attorney General William Barr of deceiving the court and Congress public about a Justice Department memo clearing former President Trump of potential charges following the special counsel investigation.

In a blistering decision, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the release of the memo to a government transparency group that had requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, The New York Times reports

The Justice Department had argued that the memo was exempt from FOIA because it consisted of private legal advice that helped Barr decide whether Trump should be prosecuted.

But Jackson, who reviewed the unreacted memo, said that Barr and his aides had already decided Trump would not be prosecuted before Barr even reviewed the written advice. 

“The fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Jackson wrote of Trump.

Jackson also accused Barr of misleading the public about the 448-page special counsel report. 

“The attorney general’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball,” Jackson wrote.

Special Investigation of Russia Likely to Focus on Organized Crime in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference with the presidential election is expected to cast light on the criminal underbelly of Moscow.

U.S. officials have long worried that organized crime in Russia posed a threat to democratic institutions.

“Those concerns, ever-present if not necessarily always top priorities, are front and center once more,” Time reports. 

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is heading the special investigation, has a powerful legal team that includes lawyers with experience fighting organized crime. Russian intelligence services have been accused of working with criminal operatives to undermine business competition for years.

As the team of investigators explores election meddling, it’s likely the focus will include the devastating cyberattacks of Democratic email accounts.

“It’s not an easy thing to kind of grasp or understand, but it’s very dangerous to our country because they have so many different aspects, unlike a traditional cartel,” said Robert Anderson, a retired FBI executive assistant director who worked counterintelligence cases and oversaw the criminal and cyber branch.

“You have to know where to look, which makes it more complicated,” he added. “And you have to understand what you’re looking for.”