DOJ quick to squash false rumors that Barr considered stepping down over Trump tweets

Screengrab MSNBC

Like a sewing circle, the Trump-hating media is forever producing one scandalous rumor after another about the Trump presidency, citing anonymous sources from the swamp that is Washington, DC.

The latest effort here was seen Tuesday night as the Washington Post reported that Attorney General Bill Barr is contemplating quitting if President Trump doesn’t stop tweeting.

More from the Post:

Attorney General William P. Barr has told people close to President Trump — both inside and outside the White House — that he is considering quitting over Trump’s tweets about Justice Department investigations, three administration officials said, foreshadowing a possible confrontation between the president and his attorney general over the independence of the Justice Department…

The administration officials said Barr seemed to be sharing his position with advisers in hopes the president would get the message that he should stop weighing in publicly on the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigations.

“He has his limits,” said one person familiar with Barr’s thinking, speaking on the condition of anonymity, like others, to discuss internal deliberations.

 

The Justice Department immediately pushed back Tuesday evening at the claim Barr was considering stepping down.

“Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign,” tweeted Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.

The story follows last week’s criticism from Barr regarding the president tweeting about active criminal cases, with the attorney general saying the tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

At the same time, Barr made it clear that “the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said after Trump weighed in online on the harsh sentencing suggestion from federal prosecutors for his longtime confidant Roger Stone.

Under Barr’s direction, a suggestion of up to nine years in prison would be lowered significantly, prompting the four prosecutors involved to step down from the case.

The White House responded to say that Trump “wasn’t bothered” by Barr’s remarks and that he has “full faith and confidence” in him, adding that just like any American citizen, the president has a right “to publicly offer his opinions.”

Given that Barr is surely smart enough to know that no one is going to coerce Trump to give up tweeting, which is the president’s means of getting around a heavily-biased media and communicating directly with the American people, the report may be more about an attempt on the left to try to curtail the practice.

Or, more likely, follow Barr’s remarks last week, an attempt to drive a wedge between Trump and his attorney general, who has become a target himself of the “resistance.”

On Sunday, more than 2,000 former DOJ officials signed a statement calling on Barr to resign for “doing the President’s personal bidding” — it’s worth noting that the DC bureaucracy is decidedly liberal.

Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to quote Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano, who said of Stone, “I think almost any judge in the country would order a new trial.”

The media billed this a “more interfering” by the president.

Stone was convicted of witness tampering, obstruction and lying to Congress during the Mueller investigation, and his attorneys requested a new trial last week, accusing the jury foreman of “significant bias.

However, after the president’s tweet, Fox News reported that a Justice Department official revealed prosecutors had filed a sealed motion in court arguing the opposite, and that they had Barr’s approval to do so.

U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson, who is overseeing the case, held a conference call with Stone, his defense team and DOJ prosecutors on Tuesday, after Trump’s tweets.

Jackson reportedly decided not to ignore a defense request to delay Stone’s sentencing, which is set for Thursday — the judge said it would not be “prudent” to further delay the sentencing hearing, but she would put off sentence execution until the retrial request was addressed.

Tom Tillison

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