February 14th, 2020

AG Bill Barr's interview with ABC

February 14th, 2020 | 285 views

- Attorney General Bill Barr says that Donald Trump has never directly asked him to interfere in a criminal case.
- The Attorney General also said that President Trump should stop tweeting about justice department cases because they make it “impossible” for the attorney general to do his job.
- Barr said he will not be bullied by anyone, even the president, and will continue to do his job.
- These comments have created lots of conversation due to the issues surrounding Roger Stones sentencing.
- The justice department recently overruled its own prosecution team in the Roger Stone sentencing case, which resulted in prosecution members quitting, one of them permanently quitting the justice department.
- AG Barr is defending the justice department, saying that Trump had nothing to do with his decision to overrule his own teams sentencing.
- Barr was surprised the team quit.
- Trump commended Barr on twitter for intervening in the sentencing, which back peddles on Barr saying that the president did not affect the outcome of the case.
- Trump has repeatedly been under scrutiny for interfering in the department of justice.
- For example, President Trump: fired attorney general Jeff Sessions, and tried to get FBI director James Comey to stop an investigation into Trump advisor Michael Flynn.
- After Barr criticized Trumps use of social media, the white house issued a statement defending the presidents use of social media: “President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American People”.
View Analysis

Left View

Barr, why trust his word now? 

I’ll believe it when I see it. Words, as we know, are not a reliable predictor of actions. So now what? If Barr won’t be bullied by Trump, what are you going to do to stand up for yourself? Because right now I don’t believe that there was an ounce of sincerity in his words. It’s more likely that some kind of agreement was made between the president and Barr that this had to be publicly stated in order to save face.

Barr complaining about Trump so publicly is suspicious. There’s no reason to think he is an independent actor when his decisions have been entirely synchronous to the president’s needs? Yes, the Roger Stone fiasco is problematic. Yes, this creates public outcry. But no—Barr’s words do nothing to blur the precedent he has set for himself. Talk about an attempt at damage control. This is no attempt to do right. This is no attempt to mend wrongs. This is an attempt to publicly spew doubt about his hyper-loyal Trumpism, though we all know he does his bidding.

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Right View

Barr sets the bar 

In an interview with ABC Thursday night, Attorney General William Barr publicly set the record straight regarding the DOJ’s overruling of a sentence recommendation by the prosecution of 7-9 years jail time for Roger Stone. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly took to Twitter Tuesday night, making a statement that President Trump interfered in the sentencing and that the DOJ should be investigated. Barr stated several times through the interview that he would not act on the personal whims of a president, or any other entity, and that Trump did not request Barr tamper with the prosecution’s recommendation in the Stone case. Much the opposite, Barr had already spoken to his staff, stating that the DOJ would have to
change its recommendation as he felt it was excessive - this happening hours before the President would tweet about the prosecution.

The primary focus over much of the interview was Barr’s disagreement with Trump’s constant
use of Twitter. A sentiment shared by a majority of Trump’s supporters. Barr stated that Trump’s
social media use left Barr in tough situations within his own job, a prime example of this being
the Stone trial. Barr’s interview clarified the DOJ’s actions and separated any involvement of Trump in its decision. Barr added, “I’m happy to say that, in fact the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” Regarding the prosecution, Barr was somewhat surprised at their departure, claiming that he did not intervene in the case, rather he settled a
departmental dispute on sentencing.

Time will tell if the President heeds the words of his Attorney General regarding social media, but if he does it will be a welcomed change for both republicans and democrats.

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