The Justice Department (DOJ) has told a court on Friday that it is considering whether to release a less-redacted version of former special counsel Robert Muellers report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The department said in a three-page filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that it was in the process of reevaluating whether the redactions related to Roger Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, should be made public since Stones criminal case has concluded.
“Following the sentencing of Mr. Stone and the lifting of the media communications order in United States v. Roger Stone, Jr. … the Department of Justices Office of Information Policy (OIP) concluded that reprocessing the Mueller Report is appropriate,” the court filing stated (pdf).
When the Mueller report was released in April 2019, parts of it were redacted in order to protect grand-jury secrecy or to comply with judicial orders aimed at protecting the release of sensitive discovery information or to prevent the disclosure of information related to ongoing investigations and criminal proceedings including the Stone case.
If the department deems it appropriate after the review, it will release an updated version of the Mueller report on June 19, the DOJ told the court.
The DOJs filing is part of a freedom of information lawsuit brought by BuzzFeed, its investigative journalist Jason Leopold, and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a nonprofit research center. EPIC said in a June 24, 2019, court filing (pdf) that the DOJs handling of the reports release provides “tangible evidence of agency bad faith.”
In March, the department turned over an unredacted version of the Mueller report to the judge in the case, Judge Reggie Walton, who had demanded to see the report.
Walton, an appointee of President George W. Bush, had several complaints about Attorney General William Barrs handling of the release of the Mueller report. He pointed out that there were inconsistencies between the report and Barrs summary of investigative findings he provided prior to the reports release.
“The speed by which Attorney General Barr released to the public the summary of Special Counsel Muellers principal conclusions, coupled with the fact that Attorney General Barr failed to provide a thorough representation of the findings set forth in the Mueller Report, causes the Court to question whether Attorney General Barrs intent was to create a one-sided narrative about the Mueller Report—a narrative that is clearly in some respects substantively at odds with the redacted version of the Mueller Report,” Walton said (pdf).
He also raised concerns that Barrs Read More From Source