U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Robert Mueller III violated court rules in public statements about a Russian firm accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, a federal judge in Washington has ruled, while stopping short of disciplining either Justice Department leader.

In a July 1 opinion, unsealed Monday, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said Barr and Mueller inappropriately linked a defendant, Concord Management and Consulting, to the Russian government, even though prosecutors have not expressly drawn a connection between the firm and the Kremlin. Friedrich, citing language in the Mueller report and Barr’s public comments on the Russia investigation, said the statements violated a court rule that prohibits lawyers in criminal cases from sharing information or opinions that could compromise the fairness of a trial.

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