William Barr was invited to a meeting with representatives of the Department of Justice in the summer of the same day, on the same day he filed a note that strongly criticized the investigation of Robert Muller's special lawyer on impeding justice by Donald Trump.
a private attorney at that time met with officials at lunch three weeks later and was appointed to the post of Attorney General Trump in about six months.
The opening of the meeting, organized by Steve Engel, head of the Legal Counsel at the Ministry of Justice, who had not previously been publicly disclosed, raises new questions as to whether the White House's decision to hire Barr to private discussions about his legal views to investigate Muller. for an American morning briefing
Barr announced last month that he concluded that the investigation of a special lawyer had found "insufficient" evidence to establish that Trump had obstructed justice. He made this decision, he wrote in a letter to Congress, after consulting with Engel, a White House legal advisor, and Rod Roenstein, deputy prosecutor general. hired, he sent a 20-page note to two top executives in the DoJ ̵
Officials reported to the Wall Street Journal, which for the first time reported the existence of a memorandum that the note did not play any role in the decision to hire Barr.
In his written responses to the senators' questions, as part of his confirmatory hearing, Barr said that he provided Copy of his note to Rozenstein and Engel on June 8, 2018. He said that he discussed his legal conclusions with Rosenstein at the beginning of 2018, and later, separately, he briefly discussed his views with Engel. Then he wrote in written answers that, after writing the note: "No further action was taken by any of these officials of the Department."
But the man who has this question said that on June 8 Engel invited Barr a year – a day when the memoir arrived at the Justice Department – for a "brown bag" lunch in which he was invited to the justice department staff.
Lunch was held on June 27th.
A representative from the Ministry of Justice confirmed that the dinner was held. "The timing was random, and the memorandum was not discussed," the spokeswoman said.
"OLC regularly returns former OLC executives (as well as other units) to eat with a new team and share the experience of their time in OLC But," she added.
Barn Lunch was, however, not entirely a routine affair. Although in the past, the DoJ was traditional for brown bags, the person with knowledge of the case said that Barr's dinner was intended to start the tradition again after two years when there were no such dinners.
initially challenged this report and promised to give the Guardian a list of names and the dates of other former officials and celebrities who visited such brown bags "before Barr.However, the press secretary did not provide any additional information.
" This revelation adds another point which suggests that the amazing Barra memory reminds him that he will protect Trump even on very questionable or false legal grounds, and that he was covered by the administration on this basis, "said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University and former special lawyer for the Ministry of Defense.
While it was believed that Muller's investigation was focused on the decision of Trump to release James O'Mee, who was the head of the FBI and investigated a possible conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign, Barr stated in his note that the true truth is an act of obstruction had to include explicit destruction of evidence. Such actions may include witness interference or other intentional actions that impair the integrity of the evidence.
The Ministry of Justice reduced the value of Bar's note in June. Roenstein told the WSJ that Barr had not sought and received no public information regarding the ongoing investigation, and that Barr's note had no impact on the investigation. and Engel would be appropriate, as he would inform the Ministry of Justice and possibly the White House about Barr's views on the executive branch.
Engel maintained a relatively low level of his role in the office of a legal adviser. He served on the Trump Campaign Team and is known to be a close friend of the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh.
Engel is not Trump's personal lawyer. In his capacity as an OLC, he offers advice to the White House on the extent of his powers, sometimes offering a legal justification for some of the White House's actions.
Trump recently told the Senate Republicans that he has a great commitment to Barra. I love AG. It works fast. I love this guy. You told me what I wanted, "he told the group, according to a report from the New York Times