The Justice Department is partially appealing an order to publicly release a pivotal 2019 memo about whether then-President Donald Trump obstructed the Russia investigation.
The appeal means some sections of the nine-page memo will likely remain secret for the time being, while litigation continues. The Justice Department released some portions of the memo on Monday, though the freshly unredacted sections did not provide many new details on the decision by then-Attorney General William Barr that Trump should not be charged with any crimes.
A highly redacted version of the memo was already available to the public. But the full version, if it is ever released, could shed new light on how Trump appointees at the Justice Department justified why he shouldn’t be charged, even though special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found strong evidence that Trump repeatedly obstructed the probe.
The decision to appeal is a key moment for the Biden-era Justice Department under Attorney General Merrick Garland, and is sure to disappoint many Trump opponents who had hoped the latest release would reveal damaging information about the former President and his attorney general. In the court filings Monday, arguing that most of the memo should remain out of public view, Garland’s department defended some of the actions taken by the department under Barr.