(USA Features) In an unusually harsh statement, a federal judge on Friday accused Attorney General William Barr of displaying a “lack of candor” in ordering a full review of an unreacted version of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, current senior judge of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia and former presiding judge of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, ordered the Justice Department to provide him with a full copy of the Mueller report for his review, the Daily Caller reported.
In a memo, Walton, appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush, said he does not trust Barr’s comments regarding the contents of the report or his interpretations of what the special counsel concluded following its investigation into whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct the Russia probe.
He claimed there are “inconsistencies” between Barr’s public statements and what is provided in a redacted version of the special counsel’s report. Those alleged inconsistencies “cause the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump,” he wrote.
His ruling came in response to a lawsuit against the Justice Department filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and reporter Jason Leopold.
Walton said that his comments were based on a review of the redacted version of the special counsel’s report and statements that Barr made in an April 18, 2019 press conference, as well as a letter he wrote the previous day, the Daily Caller noted.
“And, the Court cannot reconcile certain public representations made by Attorney General Barr with the findings in the Mueller Report,” said Walton.
“These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr’s lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr’s credibility.”
In the past, Democrats have also accused Barr of misrepresenting in public what was concluded by Mueller and his team of investigators in their final report.
Barr noted that Mueller’s report made it clear that investigators found no evidence of collusion between Russia and the president, but left the question of whether he tried to obstruct the investigation up to the Justice Department to determine.
Barr and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined there was no evidence to support an obstruction case and decided not to pursue charges.