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Former Attorney General Bill Barr in 2020. Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday called for the release of a secret 2019 Department of Justice memo that then-Attorney General Bill Barr cited to justify clearing former President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Judge Amy Berman Jackson called Barr's public characterization of the Mueller investigation's finding “disingenuous” and said the department had not been clear about what purpose the memo would serve.

The big picture: The DOJ had previously argued that the memo should be kept from public view due to attorney-client privilege and the fact that the memo was used by Barr to help make a decision on whether to prosecute Trump, per Politico.

  • Now the judge has called for the full memo to be released in response to a Freedom of Information Act suit filed by the organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

What they're saying: "[N]ot only was the Attorney General being disingenuous then, but DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court with respect to the existence of a decision-making process that should be shielded by the deliberative process privilege," reads Jackson's opinion.

  • "The agency’s redactions and incomplete explanations obfuscate the true purpose of the memorandum, and the excised portions belie the notion that it fell to the Attorney General to make a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at any time."

Go deeper

Updated Aug 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

"Not patriotism": Sentencing judges rebuke Capitol rioters

Judge Amy Berman Jackson at the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A federal judge sentencing a Michigan man in D.C. Wednesday over his role in the U.S. Capitol riot dismissed any notion that he's a political prisoner.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that she wasn't sentencing Karl Dresch, of Calumet, "because he is a supporter" of former President Trump, noting that "millions of people" had voted for him "and did not heed his call to descend on the nation's Capitol," per the Detroit News.

Job gains slow sharply as U.S. adds 210k jobs in November

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 210,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate plummeted to 4.2% from 4.6%.

Why it matters: Job gains slowed sharply, but the labor market recovery remains on track.

Elon Musk's mega-billion bounty

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Here's how insanely rich Elon Musk is: He has unloaded $10 billion of his stock in the past month — and could do that 15+ more times given his silos of shares.