In a shocking new interview released by ABC on Thursday, Attorney General William Barr blasted Pres. Donald Trump for tweeting about issues and cases regarding the U.S. Department of Justice.
Pierre Thomas asked Barr about Trump’s tweets regarding recent cases. The case in question is the case of Roger Stone, a close friend of Trump and a former Trump campaign adviser. Stone was convicted of witness tampering, lying to Congress, and obstruction of justice.
Although Barr says Trump “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” he is growing increasingly impatient with Trump’s tweeting.
“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.
He added this.
“Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet? And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be,” Barr said.
In fact, he specifically said that he has a problem with some of Trump’s tweets.
“Yes. Well, I have a problem with some of, some of the tweets. As I said at my confirmation hearing, I think the essential role of the attorney general is to keep law enforcement, the criminal process sacrosanct to make sure there is no political interference in it. And I have done that and I will continue to do that,” adding, “And I’m happy to say that, in fact the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”
Barr is under fire and pressure from his own department and the country for caving and giving in to Trump’s Twitter demands that he lighten the recommended sentence on Stone. Prosecutors recommended that Stone do seven to nine years in prison. Trump was outraged at the sentence recommendation.
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
After the tweet, in short order and with a shocking reversal, the Justice Department subsequently overruled their own prosecution team, and even told a judge that such a harsh punishment “would not be appropriate.”
The negative effects of the DOJ’s official reversal were immediate. The entire four-man prosecution team withdrew from the case, and one prosecutor even resigned from the Justice Department completely. He’s apparently had enough.
In response to the prosecutors resigning, Trump audaciously suggested that they “go back to school and learn.”
Barr insists he’s not being bullied or pressured.
“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said. “I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”
Trump was quick to give Barr a public shoutout and “congratulations” for “taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.”
Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought. Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Watch the interview.
But what happens when Trump starts attacking Barr for speaking out against him, as he inevitably will? Thomas asked him if he was prepared for the blowback and criticism the president may heap on him. Barr replied “Of course,” and maintained that his job is to run the Department of Justice and make decisions based on “what I think is the right thing to do.”
Yeah, we’ll see.
Although Barr insists that Trump didn’t put any pressure on him to interfere in any criminal case, we’ve all seen the tweets, and apparently Barr is as annoyed with the president’s tweeting as the rest of us are.
Unfortunately, Trump has proven that he can get away with anything. I’m starting to believe that what he said once is true. He probably really could shoot someone on New York’s Fifth Avenue and he not only wouldn’t lose voters but apparently, but it probably wouldn’t even be enough to get him convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Read more at ABC News.
Featured image: screengrab via embedded video