Apparently Barr is going to do his job the way he wants even if his boss doesn’t like it or flat out disapproves it. Must be nice to be a member of the deep state that has the balls to say this kind of shit about and (indirectly) to the President who hired you.
If ever a tweet served President Trump badly, it was his Monday night complaint about prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone. And kudos to Attorney General William Barr for publicly calling out the president on it.
Barr on Thursday took the extraordinary step of sitting down with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas to clear the air on the Stone affair. He made it clear the president “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” but that Trump’s tweets about the Justice Department “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
The AG knows this could get him fired, but he will only do the job on his own terms. “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody . . . Congress, a newspaper editorial board or the president,” Barr said. “I’m gonna do what I think is right.”
He did intervene in the Stone case — before Trump tweeted about it, and on the basis of his own judgment.
While within Justice Department guidelines, the Stone sentencing recommendation on Monday was remarkably harsh — up to nine years in prison for a 67-year-old, when Stone’s crimes, mainly misleading Congress in sworn testimony, would typically bring a few months for a first offense.
The on-hands prosecutors justified the far-tougher line because Stone allegedly intimidated another witness, his pal Randy Credico. But Credico says he didn’t feel intimidated. And their direct supervisor had questioned their intent to go harsh — yet they went ahead anyway.
On learning of the recommendation Monday, Barr says he quickly ordered a change. When that happened on Tuesday, the prosecutors quit the case, and one resigned from the Justice Department.
Trump’s tweet in the interim naturally had critics (Republican and Democrat) up in arms over what seemed outrageous political interference in the course of justice.
In fact, Barr had to reconsider his course: “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,” he told ABC.
We have complete trust in Barr’s integrity. The left keeps trying to paint him as a Trump toady, but that’s only because he’s determined to reverse the Obama-era politicization of the Justice Department.
Yet the president’s tweet totally fed his enemies’ claims. Trump’s core supporters might laugh it off, but the affair will sow doubt in the minds of Americans in the middle, whose votes Trump needs in November. And it could cost him a crucial Cabinet member.
Please, sir: Think before you tweet, and trust your people to do their jobs.