Federal Judge Attacks Barr Over Creating Public Doubts Over Report


Today will be the long-awaited release of the Special Counsel report. (I will be in New York doing analysis for CBS and BBC). District Court Judge Reggie Walton however did not wait for the release of the report or the press conference planned by Attorney General Bill Barr for the morning. Walton made a surprising statement in court on Tuesday criticizing Barr. Walton objected that “The attorney general has created an environment that has caused a significant part of the public … to be concerned about whether or not there is full transparency.” Walton did not explain what precisely Barr did to create such public doubts, but the comments appeared immaterial to the merits. A few days ago, we discussed another federal judge attacking President Trump at an awards ceremony. Walton’s comments are not nearly so problematic but they were unfortunate and untimely in my view.

Walton was presiding over a hearing on a Freedom of Information Act suit demanding access to a report detailing the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller. The issue is a legal one separate from the judge’s view of how the Attorney General is proceeding on the rollout of the redacted report. Indeed, Walton denied a request from BuzzFeed to issue a preliminary injunction requiring the Justice Department to release Mueller’s report by Thursday.

It was an obvious and easy ruling to make under the circumstances. The question is why the court felt it was necessary to reach outside of the confines of the case to make a comment that clearly would cause a frenzy in the media. Moreover, I am at a loss as to what the court was referencing. Barr is proceeding along the well-established lines. He cannot release the unredacted report given restricted information from the grand jury as well as classified information and information from ongoing investigations. Indeed, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has publicly defended Barr’s actions.

This is not the end of the Buzzfeed case but the criticism of Barr seemed strikingly premature and unsupported. Today we will see the redacted report and we can teach more conclusions on the outcome of the redaction review. However, we need the courts to maintain a greater distance from the unfolding commentary over the controversy until an actual case or controversy is presented in court under Article III.

We also discussed the statements of Judge Ellis in the Manafort case as highly problematic as well as the comments of Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case. Such extraneous commentary creates concerns over the objectivity of the courts in dealing with matters of great public concern.

170 thoughts on “Federal Judge Attacks Barr Over Creating Public Doubts Over Report”

  1. This judge used to preside over the FISA court. He was also the presiding judge in the Scooter Libby travesty. He was at one time on the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. See Mark Steyn’s commentary on his adventures with that clogged up sewer of a court. We have reason to believe he’s just an underperforming sh!t.

    1. Walton was appointed by a Republican President. He’s far from being a liberal judge.

      Scooter Libby: he outed a CIA covert agent, Valerie Plame. Doing so put the lives of her sources and operative in mortal danger. He deserved real prison time.

      FISA judges are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Getting a FISA warranted approved is a long and difficult task. According to former DOJ senior attorneys, every paragraph in the request has to support the request. Each request is reviewed many times, with each review conducted by a more senior staff member. When the target of the FISA warrant request is a member of the current administration the request has to be signed off by either a FBI Deputy Director or by the FBI Director. As a result no superfluous or vindictive FISA warrant request makes it out of the FBI.

      1. Just what are you smoking? The FBI is required to verify that the information they are using is accurate and has been vetted. That was not done in the case of the steel dossier, which was instrumental in obtaining the FISA warrants.

      2. Walton was appointed by a Republican President. He’s far from being a liberal judge.

        The inanity of this remark has been dealt with elsewhere on this thread.

        Scooter Libby: he outed a CIA covert agent, Valerie Plame. Doing so put the lives of her sources and operative in mortal danger. He deserved real prison time.

        Actually, Richard Armitage outed her. She wasn’t doing covert work anymore. The worst that might have happened was that others who had worked for the same front businesses had to be re-assigned.

        He was convicted of ‘perjury’ because his memory of what he told which journalist when differed from their memories (which in turn differed from each others).

        Patrick FitzGerald found out early in the investigation that Richard Armitage was responsible, then dragged matters out for three years and change while everyone’s legal bills mounted.

        You manufacture excuses for these vicious creatures because that’s the sort of cruddy thing liberals do nowadays.

        1. DSS, it seems we were posting at the same time. I liked your last sentence very much because it describes the Liberal thinking process.

          “You manufacture excuses for these vicious creatures because that’s the sort of cruddy thing liberals do nowadays.”

        2. Additionally, when Armitage was asked how HE knew about Valerie Plame’s employment at the CIA, Armitage was quoted as saying “Because Joe Wilson ( her husband) goes around telling everybody about it”.
          Armitage immediately admitted he was the one who told Robert Novak about the Plame CIA/ Joe Wilson link; finding the source was ostensibly the goal of the Special Prosecutor.
          Since that was known almost immediately in the investigation, the SP tried to see if he could hang something else on somebody.
          Scooter Libby got that prize.

        3. TIA x 100: “You manufacture excuses for these vicious creatures because that’s the sort of cruddy thing liberals do nowadays.”

          It’s hardly a surprise that s/he’s brought out the broad brush again.

        4. You are correct that Richard Armitage outed Plame. However, your comment that she wasn’t doing covert work doesn’t matter. She had made many contacts during her years as a covert agent. Those contacts are in danger as a result of Plame being outed.

      3. Let’s take these things one at a time: “Scooter Libby: he outed a CIA covert agent, Valerie Plame. ” Did he do that? NO.

        “WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage acknowledged Thursday that he was the source who first revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to syndicated columnist Robert Novak back in 2003, touching off a federal investigation.

        Armitage told the CBS Evening News that he did so inadvertently.

        “I feel terrible,” Armitage said. “Every day, I think, I let down the president. I let down the secretary of state. I let down my department, my family, and I also let down Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.””

        “Doing so put the lives of her sources and operative in mortal danger. He deserved real prison time.”

        No!

        As far as the rest goes… No! Or requires more thoughtful discussion.

  2. Maybe I incorrectly translated some of her Dianese vebiage she’s plastered here.
    But I don’t think so…there’s a fluency that is gained🤔 in her preferred language for anyone who has seen even a fraction of her comments here.

    1. it isn’t a language. Its troll-speak scripted from David Brock’s troll for hire organization, Media Matters for America

      With JT foiling the Left Wing when it comes to undermining the rule of law, Brock’s trolls have been and will be trolling JT’s blog aggressively.
      Yet, with all of the assistance Hillary and the Left have received from the Mainstream Media, they STILL CANT PERSUADE AMERICANS to think like them. Their group think only works within their very impotent and flaccid echo chamber members…who shoot blanks
      😘

      ——-

      “ The New York Times, in a 2008 profile, called MMA “a highly partisan research organization” and quoted Democratic operative James Carville as saying that MMA was “more effective than any single entity” on the left. Pollster Frank Luntz called MMA “one of the most destructive organizations associated with American politics today.”[34] In a 2011 interview with Politico, Brock vowed to wage “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” against Fox News.

      When Brock proposed the idea of Media Matters, Hillary Clinton invited him to the Clintons’ Chappaqua home to pitch the idea to potential donors.[29] MMA, according to a 2015 article in The Daily Beast, “operates from a posh Washington office space with a multi-million-dollar budget and nearly 100 employees.”[5] In 2014, The Nation stated that “Brock, in partnership with fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner—often described as his secret weapon—has turned out to be unparalleled at maintaining rich liberals’ loyalty and support.” An insider told The Nation that Brock and Bonner “are probably the most effective major-individual-donor fundraising team ever assembled in the independent-expenditure progressive world.”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brock

      1. You will presently produce evidence for the origin and source of the phrase, “Flaming Dipsticks with Broken-Off Tips.” Failure correctly to identify the original source for that phrase will prove fatal to the hypothesis that you’ve just now floated above, you Flaming Dipstick with a Broken-Off Tip, you.

  3. He is a partisan hypocrite who makes Al Sharpton look honest

    Chief Justice John Roberts looks foolish

    —-
    Whitewater controversy
    On October 4, 2016, Walton rejected the release of Hillary Clinton criminal indictment drafts prosecutors prepared, but never issued, during the Whitewater investigation in the 1990s. He ruled that Clinton had a “substantial privacy interest” when he rejected a Judicial Watch lawsuit under FOIA.[14][15][16]

    “Guantanamo captives’ habeas petitions
    On August 21, 2009, Reuters reported that Walton issued a ruling about “hearsay evidence” that applied to all the Guantanamo detainees’ habeas petitions before him.[21] Much of the evidence the Department of Justice is presenting in the habeas petitions is hearsay evidence.

    Walton wrote:

    Even the most widespread rumors are often inaccurate in part if not in whole. The court’s only point is that otherwise unreliable hearsay cannot be deemed reliable because there is other unreliable hearsay to the same effect.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggie_Walton

  4. JT writes “I’ll be in New York doing analysis for CBS and BBC”.
    From some of the comments I’ve read here, there is a suspicion that JT is a stooge for Fox News, consistently playing to a right-wing base.
    I hope to catch him later today on either of both of the right-wing extremist networks he mentioned……I’ve seen him on BBC News America before.

  5. According to the judge’s bio, he was formerly the presiding judge at FISA.
    That oughtta reassure anyone concerned about the workings of that “court”; maybe they’ll let him do that again part-time.
    If he kept the rubber stamp he probably used for FISA warrants, moonlighting at FISA shouldn’t be very time consuming.

    1. I understand the judge pre-emptively expressing his concerns about the lack of transparency.
      That obviously is not a concern re the FISA process, with all of its transparency.😉😊😋😄😂

  6. It’s all posturing for when Barr goes after the real crimes committed by the FBI/DOJ cabal in charge of the with hunt. Wait, isn’t commenting on an investigation obstruction of justice? I guess only for Trump.

      1. Wouldn’t that be something. Real justice in Washington. Corruption being cleaned out like Augean Stables. That would make Trump into Hercules and DC so much bullcrapola. I’m liking the anology. Can you imagine what an American Spring that would be. Honest services, national interests served and an altruistic government. Seems like a dream.

        1. Excerpted from Rule 6 (E) (ii) of the Federal Rules for Criminal Procedure:

          (E) The court may authorize disclosure—at a time, in a manner, and subject to any other conditions that it directs—of a grand-jury matter:

          (ii) at the request of a defendant who shows that a ground may exist to dismiss the indictment because of a matter that occurred before the grand jury;

          [end excerpt]

          If any of the people you want to cleanse from The Augean Stables get indicted, then those people get a crack at Rule 6 (E) (ii) to have the charges dismissed. Just. Like. Roger. Stone. He wants discovery on the entire, un-redacted Mueller report.

    1. The evidence in the Mueller report is almost certainly exculpatory evidence for the FBI, the DoJ, the SCO and whosever else you all want Putin to go after. The only real reason for redacting the evidence in the Mueller report is keep it away from Putin. While Trump might not be bright enough to figure that one out, Ag Barr is supposed to be bright enough for that task.

      1. It never ceases to amaze me how much L4D “knows” about reasons for redactions (only one in this case), and her expertise in just about every area under the sun covered by WikiPedia.

        1. (I would have expected the evidence in the Mueller report to be damning🤪😳 for the OSC, FBI, etc.—-but you heard it here, first, folks.
          L4B says it’ll be “exculpatory” for them.)

          1. If any of them get indicted as a result of the “counter-investigation” that Putin wans Trump to launch. Then the evidence in the Mueller report would be exculpatory.

            If only you could keep up with “the context,” then you wouldn’t garble things so persistently.

    2. Anomalous,
      You didn’t get the word from L4D….the Mueller report will be not reflect negatively on any of these agencies.
      In fact, it’ll probably be so “exculpatory” that it’s highly probable all who have had concerns about those agencies will have their fears put to rest.

      1. Your “fears” are an all-too-obvious euphemism for spite and vindictiveness. You ought properly to fear those “fears”.

        1. It’s hard to believe now, but when I was younger, I would often needle and mock pompous, pretentious gasbags like L4D.
          I don’t do that anymore since I reformed. 😇

      1. Is that in the reacted or unredacted version of the Mueller report?
        Outside of L4B, I don’t think any of us have seen either version yet.

        1. You’re suggesting that the Trump Tower Moscow deal went through???

          When does the first Ruble of that $300 Million turn up in Trump’s pocket? I ask because that’s the day Trump gets Impeached for Bribery.

          1. Why wait for that day? You’ve presented all kinds of things you imagine Trump did and many of them are impeachable offenses.
            If you and Mad Max put yours heads together, you may be able to evict Trump from the White House without risking a second Trump term if he wins in 2020.

            1. Trump was not a public official capable of committing an official act in an official capacity at the time that Trump was negotiating the Trump Tower Moscow deal while running for president in an election in which his prospective business partners interfered on Trump’s behalf. Otherwise Trump would have already have been Impeached, convicted, removed and disqualified from office on a charge of Soliciting a Bribe.

              1. Is that what you gleaned from your unredacted copy of the Mueller report?
                So if Trump loses the election, Putin gives him the green light for the Moscow Trump Tower as a consolation prize for running as Putin’s proxy in our 2016 election?
                And if he wins the election, the Moscow Trump Tower deal falls through?
                Now is that because Putin will reimburse Trump in some other way, or Putin’s way of penalizing Trump for winning the election?

  7. Mueller Report Redactions: Will Congress Ever See All of the Mueller …

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/mueller-report-redactions-will-congress-ever-see-all-mueller-grand-jury-material

    18 hours ago … Congress has managed twice to obtain federal grand jury … For the latter three categories of redacted information, there is no legal bar to the … Barr also said grand jury information is the “most inflexible” category for a speedy release. …. to release grand jury material under the court’s inherent authority.).

  8. Some on Mueller team say evidence against Trump stronger than Barr …

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/barr-didn-t-do-justice-mueller-report-officials-tell-new-n990776

    Apr 3, 2019 … Some on Mueller team say evidence against Trump stronger than Barr disclosed. Three officials say a dispute within Mueller’s office was one …

    Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr …

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/us/politics/william-barr-mueller-report.html

    Apr 3, 2019 … At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the … Some members of Mr. Mueller’s team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr … Mr. Barr has said he will move quickly to release the nearly 400-page ….. practice not to disclose derogatory details in closing an investigation, …

    1. Excerpted from the first article linked above:

      According to a senior law enforcement official who has spoken to members of Mueller’s team, Mueller team members say it includes detailed accounts of Trump campaign contacts with Russia. While Mueller found no coordination or criminal conspiracy, the official said, some on the special counsel’s team say his findings paint a picture of a campaign whose members were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation. Some of that information may be classified, the official said, so it’s not clear whether it will be released in a few weeks when Barr makes public a redacted version of the Mueller report.

      [end excerpt]

      That members of the Trump campaign were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation sound suspiciously like the explanation given by Chris Christie on the Sunday talk shows many weeks ago to the effect that those members of the Trump campaign were too stupid to realize that what they were doing might look like entering into an agreement with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

      So, if that is what the Mueller report actually says, then why does that information have to be redacted from Congress and the American people even though Chris Christie already floated that theory on the Sunday talk shows many weeks ago?

      1. It doesn’t matter if it’s redacted or not. We have an unidentified “law enforcement official” who says he was told something by members of the OSC team.
        When an anonymous official says OSC team members said something to him, you can take it to the bank.
        Between the Adam Schiff TV series and anonymous sources who said what others said to him, we can fill in all the gaps the redacted material leaves.

  9. I think the reason for Judge Reggie’s action is because of one of the following three :
    1) drugs, 2) Affirmative Action, or, 3) he’s just a liberal jerk.
    My bet is #3.

      1. mes……..Indeed, kind sir. There are no wrong answers on either list.
        Actually, I have a feeling there’s more than a touch of the A Action thang going on with him….but hesitate to say for fear of being labeled by some as a blanco supremo, if you get my drift, and I think you do.

        1. Cindy – Explain exactly what you mean by the A Action thang you’ve now referred to twice? No one has to label any number of the people here as they shout from the rooftops their biases (George). I was disappointed enough in you that after reading this early morning I came back to comment. Do better!

          1. Racist BS. NO doubt she has not benefited from being white in her life. Every time I see a white person in a power position, I figure Daddy’s boy or girl, legacy admittee, you know the usual stuff.

  10. I didn’t read the entire set of suspicions/objections this judge presented about the yet-to-released Mueller Report with redactions that he hasn’t seen.
    Did the judge mention the KKK anywhere? And if not, why not!?!?

    1. What’s wrong with what AG Barr has done thus far? [Sarcasm Alert]

      There’s no evidence of any conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in its election interference activities.

      And you can’t see the evidence that doesn’t exist. The non-existent evidence must be redacted for the sake of “secrecy.”

      But on the odd chance that we showed you the evidence, then you’d clearly see that there’s no evidence. And that’s why the evidence must be redacted.

      1. (Translation from Dianese) “If no evidence is uncovered, it means that that evidence can’t be seen because there was none found. That explains the redactions”.🤔🙄😮😏😲🤭
        I believe an earlier version of this that she peddled was that the absence of evidence does not mean that evidence is absent. ( i.e., show her where there is no evidence rather than asking her to provide it).
        Once you get the hang of translating from the Dianese, it becomes easier to untangle her comments.

            1. Thanks, Mespo. I’d never heard of that case.
              I think Douglas still holds the record as the longest-serving Supreme Court justice.
              Toward the end of his time on the bench, he may have been getting a little soft in the head.
              When he was finally convinced to retire, he would still try to sit in on SCOTUS cases; I think they finally had to take his keys away and find other preventative measures to keep him out of their hair.
              He married wisely; four times, if I remember correctly.
              Each wife was progressively younger…..he was in his mid-60s when he married his 4th wife, who was in her early 20s.
              Might have traded her in for a newer model too, had he stayed healthy and lived long enough.

              1. He was estranged from his children (the issue of is 1st wife, IIRC). When their mother died, they didn’t bother to tell him.

                1. Absurd,
                  A company I worked for had “bereavement leave”, 3 days of paid leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member. One guy, long-estranged from his father, didn’t bother attending his father’s funeral.
                  Some months later, he found out that the company had the bereavement pay and tried to see if he could ‘retroactively” get it.😀

  11. “Attorney General William Barr will release a redacted version of the Mueller report at 11am tomorrow, and everybody is already steamed about it. The New York Times reported that White House lawyers and Justice Department officials discussed the report before its release to prep a rebuttal. Democrats and Beltway journalists criticized Barr for holding a press conference an hour and a half before he releases the report. “The attorney general appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump,” House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2019/apr/17/donald-trump-news-latest-live-mueller-report-release-thursday

    1. (News conference at 9:30 a.m. ET.)

      “After the news conference, the report will be delivered to Congress on CDs between 11 a.m. and noon and then be posted on the special counsel’s website, said the official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.” -Chicago Trib

  12. Democrats have “created an environment that has caused a significant part of the public … to be concerned about whether or not there is full transparency”. They aren’t going to be satisfied with anything until they have destroyed this president and this country.

  13. “objectivity of the courts in dealing with matters of great public concern”
    You’re kidding, right?
    At this point most Courts appear to the public to be just another weaponized arm of the Democrat Party.

  14. Trump, with his numerous and grotesque faults, is gone in either 2 or 6 years. Conversely, we’re stuck with a life sentence with this slime ball DNC tool masquerading as an independent judge.

    1. He was appointed by George W. Bush. I’m wagering that it was some sort of package deal to get round the blue slip / filibuster barrier. Those barriers are there, of course, because Senators prefer playing footsie and protecting their personal prerogatives to doing their jobs. (Alternatively, it could just be the usual #fredocon mess. I’m remembering the time Trent Lott traded a set of lifetime appointments to the federal bench for a few seats on regulatory commissions and an end to obstructions on some procedural points. The Republican Party on Capitol HIll has be excecrably led for 60+ years, bar a brief shining moment under Dr. Gingrich).

  15. How far the institutions have fallen. There was a time when a judge would have preferred to be boiled in oil than utter a political remark. Now, all is fair game for comment. And no surprise that it’s typically left supporting appointed judges who do this.

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