Justice Department releases memo explaining why it declined to prosecute Donald Trump for obstruction
The U.S. Justice Department has released a 9-page 2019 memo arguing that Donald Trump should not be prosecuted for obstruction of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
The memo was written by Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O'Callaghan.
"We conclude that none of those instances would warrant a prosecution for obstruction of justice, without regard to the constitutional constraint on bringing such an action against a sitting president,” the memo reads.
Politico noted DOJ, "fought release of the memo for years, arguing that it was part of a deliberative process advising Barr on what to do in response to Mueller’s report. However, judges concluded that at the time the memo was written, Barr had already decided not to charge Trump, so the issues hashed out in the memo were theoretical and not linked to any pending decision."
The memo was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
"Engel would later become a key point of resistance to Trump’s effort to use the Justice Department to help subvert the 2020 election," Politico noted. "Engel was one of three Trump-era Justice Department witnesses to testify at a public hearing of the Jan. 6 select committee and discussed his threat to resign, along with other top department officials, if Trump had gone through with a plan to replace the department’s leadership with figures who would support his attempts to stay in power."
Read the full report.
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