Trump Says He Has The “Legal Right” To Ask Barr To Intervene In Criminal Cases
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday morning that he has the “legal right” to ask Attorney General William Barr to intervene in criminal cases pending in the Justice Department, though he said “so far” he has chosen to do exercise that right.
"’The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.’ A.G. Barr,” the president tweeted, quoting Barr before adding: “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”
Trump’s tweet came on the heels of Barr’s interview with ABC News, Axios noted, during which he rebuked the president and said Trump’s tweets "make it impossible for me to do my job.”
Barr also suggested that Trump “stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases."
The attorney general’s interview was in response to accusations that the Justice Department has become politicized under Barr — who stepped in to rework the sentencing recommendation for Trump associate Roger Stone this week.
“I’m happy to say that, in fact, the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” Barr told ABC News. “However, to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people … about cases pending in the department, 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 in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.”
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham indicated that Trump was not “bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen to publicly offer his opinions.”
"[He has] full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law,” she added.