There were two views Thursday night on Attorney General William Barr’s complaints about President Donald Trump’s tweets targeting the Justice Department and they couldn’t have been more distinct: Supporters of the Trump administration took Barr at face value and praised him. Critics thought he was faking it.
“The attorney general says it’s getting in the way of doing his job,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News anchor Bret Baier. “Maybe the president should listen to the attorney general.”
“Barr doesn’t care where it takes him,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said to Fox’s Sean Hannity. “He just looks for justice.”
Barr’s detractors didn’t think the attorney general was looking for justice. Rather, many thought he objected to Trump’s tweets because they expose the administration’s true motives.
“I have no doubt that when the president tweets, he is causing problems for the Attorney General,” Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., who served as a manager in Trump’s impeachment proceedings, said in a tweet late Thursday. “But he’s not making it harder for Barr to do the right thing, he’s making it harder for him to get away with doing the wrong thing.” On CNN, Demings also speculated that Barr and Trump were “in cahoots.”
In his interview with ABC News, Barr said it was “time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.” He added that such statements from Trump “about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending here, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.”
The interview was the latest development in the ongoing controversy surrounding the Justice Department’s handling of a sentencing recommendation for Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone.
There were plenty of plausible and practical reasons for Barr’s comments and their timing. The chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington has expressed concern about judges being pressured in the wake of Trump’s tweets and Barr’s statement allows government lawyers to disown the president’s comments when they appear in court.
Source: Greenwich Time