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Federal Judge Orders DOJ to Release Redacted Sections of Mueller Report before Election

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller arrives to testify before a House Intelligence Committee hearing, July 24, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Justice Department to release certain previously redacted sections of the Mueller report by Election Day, ruling that portions of the report were improperly deemed classified.

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton in Washington, D.C. said that the DOJ violated federal law by unnecessarily redacting at least at least 15 pages of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign.

The redacted portions of the special counsel’s final report appear to deal with charging decisions made by Mueller’s team as well as the hack and theft of the Democratic National Committee’s emails by alleged Russian intelligence operatives in 2016, and the Trump campaign’s interest in the stolen emails after they were published on WikiLeaks.

The Mueller report sections in question must be released in full by November 2, a day before the general election, the judge said in his order.

Walton noted, however, that large portions of the 448-page report were rightly hidden from public view in order to protect the privacy of individuals, ongoing investigations, and the law enforcement process.

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit by BuzzFeed News and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, who sued to have the entire Mueller reported released in unreacted form under the Freedom of Information Act.

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