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Tag: Attorney General

Trump Defies AG Barr, Continues Tweeting about Justice Department

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

In brazen defiance of Attorney General William Barr, President Trump continued to tweet about the Justice Department.

On Wednesday, Trump retweeted allegations that he is “the victim” of a DOJ conspiracy theory, just hours after reports suggested Barr told his staff that he’s considering resigning over the president’s comments about Justice Department criminal cases.

Trump fired off more than a dozen tweets and retweets that seemed to make a case that Barr should “clean house” at the Justice Department.

“There must be JUSTICE. This can never happen to a President, or our Country, again!,” Trump wrote, retweeting a post from Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who insisted there are “high expectations that the Justice Dept will very soon deliver transparency & ACCOUNTABILITY regarding DOJ/FBI officials who weaponized the awesome powers at their disposal in order to target the Trump campaign.”

Last week, Barr told ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said.

Trump continued tweeting anyway.

According to The Washington Post, Barr’s motive for threatening to quit may have been to send a message to Trump to stop tweeting.

“He has his limits,” a source said.

DOJ Denies AG Barr Is Considering Resigning Over Trump’s Tweets

Attorney General William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is denying reports that Attorney General William Barr is considering resigning over President Trump’s refusal to stop tweeting about DOJ cases.

“The Attorney General has no plans to resign,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Tuesday night on Twitter.

News that Barr was considering leaving his post began with reports by the Associated Press  and The Washington Post, both of which cited a source close to Barr who said the attorney general had told people he might quit over Trump’s tweets.

Last week, Barr told ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said.

Trump continued tweeting anyway.

According to The Washington Post, Barr’s motive for threatening to quit may have been to send a message to Trump to stop tweeting.

“He has his limits,” a source said.

AG Barr Says Trump’s Tweets ‘Make It Impossible for Me to Do My Job’

Attorney General William Barr on ABC News.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr delivered a rare rebuke of President Trump, saying his tweets about the Justice Department “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

In an interview with ABC News, Barr said, “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

“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.”

Barr’s candid remarks come after Trump injected himself into the case of his friend and confidant Roger Stone, who was convicted in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering. Trump tweeted that the sentence recommendation of seven to nine years in prison was “horrible and very unfair” and called it a “miscarriage of justice!” Soon after the tweet, senior Justice Department officials overruled the recommendation, saying it was excessive, prompting a team of prosecutors to withdraw from the case.

Barr defended the department’s decision to overrule the sentence recommendation and insisted Trump was not a factor.

Barr insisted he notified his staff to amend the recommendation before Trump’s tweet, which he said put him in a tough position.

“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 said.

After the sentence recommendation was lowered, Trump congratulated Barr.

“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,” Trump tweeted.

Barr insisted he would never bow to political pressure from Trump.

“If (Trump) were to say, ‘Go investigate somebody because’—and you sense it’s because they’re a political opponent, then the attorney general shouldn’t carry that out, wouldn’t carry that out,” Barr said.

Trump Congratulates AG Barr for Intervening in Roger Stone Sentencing Recommendation

Attorney General William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A team of career prosecutors withdrew from the case of Roger Stone Jr. after senior prosecutors for the Justice Department sought a shorter sentence for President Trump’s confidant and friend.

The prosecutors had recommended seven to nine years after Stone, a GOP dirty trickster, was found guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

Senior Justice Department officials overruled the sentencing recommendation, saying it was excessive, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. Under the revised recommendation, the Justice Department said the sentence should be “far less,” suggesting the earlier one “does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter.”

The abrupt and unusual intervention of senior officials raised serious questions about whether the Justice Department – and more specifically, Attorney General William Barr – was bowing to pressure from Trump, who declared on Tuesday that the DOJ’s sentence recommendation was “horrible and very unfair.”

On Wednesday morning, Trump congratulated Barr for intervening.

“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,” Trump tweeted. “Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”

About 10 minutes later, Trump added, “Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”

Of the four prosecutors who withdrew from the case, one resigned entirely from the Justice Department.

Legal experts criticized the Justice Department’s intervention.

Michael R. Bromwich, who was the DOJ’s inspector general under President Bill Clinton, tweeted to “all career DOJ employees:” “Report all instances of improper political influence and other misdeeds to the DOJ IG, who is required to protect your identity.”

“This is not what you signed up for. The four prosecutors who bailed on the Stone case have shown the way,” Bromwich tweeted.

AG William Barr Contradicts Past Statements about FBI by Defending the Bureau

AG William Barr in Detroit, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr is sending mixed messages about the FBI.

After Barr blasted the bureau’s handling of the Russia and Trump campaign investigation, he fully endorsed the FBI at a news conference in Detroit.

“There is no finer law enforcement agency in the world than the FBI,” Barr said in Detroit, standing next to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “I am very grateful to the leadership being provided by Chris Wray.”

Barr’s comments about the bureau are in stark contrast to his and Trump’s recent rhetoric following the DOJ’s inspector general’s report that concluded the FBI acted appropriately in investigating Trump’s campaign.

Here’s what Barr said about the FBI last week: “I think there were gross abuses …and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI,” Barr said. “I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.”

Former AG Eric Holder Blasts William Barr As ‘Unfit to Lead the Justice Department’

Former AG Eric Holder, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Attorney General Eric Holder blasted current Attorney General William Barr’s rhetoric “as deeply inappropriate,” saying he was “unfit to lead the Justice Department.”

Holder, who served as President Obama’s attorney general from 2009 to 2015, wrote a Washington Post op-ed criticizing Barr’s comments disputing the investigation of his own department’s inspector general. The report contradicted Trump’s repeated claims that the FBI illegally spied on Trump’s campaign.

Holder said he was “reluctant to publicly criticize my successors” but “Barr has made a series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan and so deeply inappropriate for America’s chief law enforcement official that they demand a response from someone who held the same office.”

Holder also responded to Barr’s “extraordinary” claim, which was made “without offering any evidence,” that the FBI had acted in “bad faith” when it launched the Russia investigation.

“As someone who spent six years in the office Barr now occupies, it was infuriating to watch him publicly undermine an independent inspector general report — based on an exhaustive review of the FBI’s conduct — using partisan talking points bearing no resemblance to the facts his own department has uncovered,” Holder wrote.

Justice Department Launches Plan to Crack Down on Gun Violence

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department unveiled a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearm laws.

Dubbed “Project Guardian,” the five-point plan includes coordinated prosecution, enforcement of firearm laws and background checks, improved information sharing, coordinated response to mental health denials, and crime gun intelligence coordination.

The plan calls for strengthening partnerships among the ATF, federal prosecutors, and state and local law enforcement to enforce existing laws.

The deputy attorney general is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the plan.

“I know you share my grave concern regarding the gun violence that has plagued our communities and that you are committed to preventing gun violence whenever possible,” Attorney General William Barr said in a news release. “By initiating Project Guardian, we take an important step in increasing the safety and security of our communities. I look forward to hearing in the coming months about your implementation of this program, which will help make our country a safer place for all.”

DOJ’s Review of the Origins of the Trump Investigation Evolves into Criminal Probe

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump has long claimed, with no evidence, that the Russia investigation was a hoax and a “witch hunt.”

Now, two years later, the Justice Department’s inquiry into the origins of the probe has evolved into a criminal investigation.

Attorney General William Barr has turned over the investigation to John H. Durham, who will serve as the prosecutor with subpoena power over testimony and documents and the power to convene a grand jury, The New York Times reports.

In other words, the Justice Department is investigating itself over what Democrats say is unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Durham, a longtime prosecutor known for investigating CIA torture, will determine whether intelligence and law enforcement agencies acted within the law when they investigated possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Barr’s review of the Russia investigation began in May, when Barr said he had discussions with intelligence and law enforcement officials that led him to question the legitimacy of the investigation. At one point, Barr even described law enforcement’s actions as “spying” on the Trump campaign.

In an interview with Fox News in May, Barr said he had been pursuing questions about whether “government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale” to investigate the Russia link.

Since then, no credible evidence has been made public to suggest law enforcement acted inappropriately in investigating Trump’s campaign.