Bill Barr calls judge’s special lead ruling ‘deeply flawed’, urges Justice Department to appeal

Washington- Former Attorney General William Barr denounced a Florida federal judge’s order authorizing the appointment of a special teacher to review documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, calling the decision “wrong” and “deeply flawed.”

“The opinion, I think, was wrong, and I think the government should appeal it,” former President Trump’s former attorney general said in an interview on Fox News on Tuesday. “It’s deeply flawed in a number of ways. I don’t think appointing a special master is going to hold up.”

Judge Aileen Cannon, appointed to the court by Trump in 2020, wrote on Monday that she agreed with Trump’s legal team that a special master — an independent, court-appointed third party — should review records seized last month by the FBI as part of the Department of Justice’s investigation. Justice to find out if the former president mishandled the documents marked classified.

Former Attorney General William Barr
Former Attorney General William Barr in an interview with CBS News on August 5, 2022.

CBS News

Cannon’s order also barred federal investigators from using seized records as part of their investigation until the special main examination was completed.

But Barr – whom Trump called “one of the nation’s most respected jurists” when he named him in 2018 to be attorney general amid then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into any link between Russian election interference and Trump associates – called the decision “premature” and said that Cannon “dodges[d]The issue in dispute: whether the former president’s potential claims of executive privilege can ever overcome the incumbent president’s decision to waive such privilege.

“The law here, I think, is pretty clear that the Justice Department should be able to review these documents,” Barr added in the interview.

And when pressed on Trump’s claims that he was allowed to keep the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago because he had declassified them, Barr said such a defense was “totally, utterly false. “.

The Justice Department, which Barr led, said in a statement Monday that it is now considering its next step in the ongoing litigation. In previous court documents, prosecutors have objected to the appointment of a special master as “unnecessary”. Prosecutors argued that the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago did not belong to Trump, but to the federal government and should be returned to the National Archives.

Monday’s appearance was not the first time Trump’s former law enforcement chief has criticized his former boss. In an interview Friday, also on Fox News, Barr said, “I don’t see a legitimate reason why they should have been — could be taken out of government, away from government, if they’re classified.” He also called Trump’s argument for a special teacher a “red herring.”

It was “unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put it in a country club,” Barr said last week.

Following Barr’s comments on Friday, Trump called the former attorney general “weak” and a “RINO” or “Republican in name only,” a label the former president frequently uses to criticize members of his party who don’t agree with him.

On Monday, Barr — who has served as attorney general in two Republican administrations — responded to Trump, telling Fox News, “A RINO to him is anyone who disagrees with him that the election was stolen.”

Barr resigned before the events of Jan. 6 and later called Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud “bullshit” in taped testimony before the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack, but had during his tenure supported the former president during other contentious phases of the Trump presidency.

Notably, he oversaw the conclusion of Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and released a summary of Mueller’s report before releasing his full findings. Barr’s summary cleared Trump and his campaign of both allegations that they colluded with Russia and obstructed the investigation, though Mueller found 10 “quiet acts” in which Mueller said Trump may have obstructed the investigation. ‘investigation. Mueller ultimately left the matter of filibuster to the Justice Department.

Barr said Tuesday that ultimately the central question the court must answer is: “Can he [Trump] prevent the DOJ from reviewing the documents? »

“The answer to that, I think,” Barr replied, “is clearly no.”

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