Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal denounced President Joe Biden's Justice Department decision not to release the memos that falsified a deliberation on whether to prosecute Donald Trump with obstruction of justice.
The DOJ released part of a redacted version of the memo that was reviewed by federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson that prompted a scathing opinion on the case. Attorney General Merrick Garland intends to fight the release of the memo to higher courts.
Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Tuesday, Katyal said that the Justice Department is coming back and that the staff is invigorated, but that this cover-up from former Attorney Bill Barr needs to be shown to the public.
"They have authorized an appeal, saying Judge Jackson's decision was wrong in ordering the disclosure of these DOJ memos and documents that Bill Barr used to rely on to say he wasn't going to prosecutor President Trump," he said. What Jackson found in her review was that there was no memo, documents, or deliberation on potentially criminal behavior from Trump. Barr falsified it to justify his decision, Judge Jackson revealed in her decision.
"That's why you used the words 'scathing' by Judge Jackson, who's one of the most well-respected judges in the country," Katyal noted. "She read all of the underlying documents and basically said Bill Barr and those in the Justice Department lied. I mean, really strong words. It is surprising to me and unfortunate that the Justice Department is appealing this decision. You know, I used to make those decisions at the Justice Department. I get why they would do there in an ordinary case, because you want to protect prosecutors. This is, like the farthest case from ordinary as imaginable. This is about a cover-up potential and protection of the attorney general's boss, the president of the United States."
Katyal explained that normally these memos would protect prosecutors and be about ensuring that their decision-making process doesn't become public and interfere in a case. This isn't a normal case and as Judge Jackson already made clear, these documents were crafted as an attempt to cover up that there was no prosecutorial decision-making process.
"Look, I can see why, if you're a true institutionalist, you want to play by the ordinary rule book, which is judges and the public don't get to see prosecutors' memos," he explained. "That's a very common thing to do. In many ways, it's what Robert Mueller did. He played by the book, he brought a feather to a knife fight, not realizing people on the other side were lawless and corrupt. I think the new Justice Department decided we're going to play by the same rule books, appeal this decision, and I think the problem with that is they didn't have to appeal."
He explained that they could have explained that this case is different from any other. They also could release it not because of a technical argument but on transparency ground.
See the full discussion below:
Bad DOJ decision on Judge Jackson's ruling www.youtube.com