“I think the American public has a right to rely on what the president has said about what he intends,” said Walton, a nominee of President George W. Bush. “It seems to me that when a president makes a vague statement about what he intends to do, I cannot rely on White House counsel saying, well, that is not his intention. Maybe he talked to the advice of The White House is the president. Maybe they didn’t, but I can’t say. ”
The 25-minute telephone hearing included types of exchanges between judges and government lawyers that could be considered bizarre under any other president, but became commonplace under Trump. Walton said, on the whole, that he did not trust the White House counsel office to accurately pass the president̵7;s point of view.
Department of Justice lawyer Courtney Enlow said the statements of the lawyers involved are entitled to an “assumption of regularity,” which essentially government officials should take to their word.
“That thing should end,” he said.
But the judge suggested that such respect was unreasonable because the president himself had signaled that some evil elements in the government were violating his orders.
“How do I know that the statements made by the White House counsel are in fact the president’s position? …. How can I assume that the White House counsel is, in fact, acting in the direction of the president? How can I assume that?” Walton asked, pointing to an interview conducted by the president on Friday with radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“I have completely decellified everything. Everything has been declassified. They have a lot of information,” Trump told Limbaugh.
Earlier last week, Trump sent out a tweet that seemed to indicate that all information related to Russia’s probe would be made public.
“I fully authorize the total Declaration of any and all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax,” Trump wrote. “Also, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No reductions!”
The comments prompted lawyers for CNN and BuzzFeed to pursue the Freedom of Information Act lawsuits for Mueller’s complete report and related documents to ask the judge to consider releasing information previously kept on national security or other grounds.
But Enlow said on Friday that in Trump’s recent tweets and comments he was referring to some previous decassifications and did not order the release of anything new.
“These statements are not clear directives to declare,” he said. “They said so in the past.”
A lawyer for CNN, Matthew Topic, said the White House advisory office seemed to be putting their round on what the president had said.
“It really seems like what we got was the White House counsel’s interpretation of these tweets,” Subject said. “If we look at these words, it’s very uncertain. He said: there are no additions.”
Walton did not say exactly what he plans to do after getting more information from the government next week, but he is trying to get most of the information released in the FBI reports from Mueller’s pre-election investigation. next month. Thousands of pages of interview reports were published along with most of Mueller’s report.