UPDATE - US Attorney General Barr Urges Trump To Stop Tweeting About Criminal Cases


UPDATE - US Attorney General Barr Urges Trump to Stop Tweeting About Criminal Cases

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) US Attorney General William Barr in an interview called on President Donald Trump to stop commenting on ongoing criminal cases via Twitter since it undercuts the Justice Department's work.

The US president has come under fire this week for condemning via twitter Federal prosecutors who proposed a sentence of up to 9 years for former Trump campaign aide Roger Stone. Barr intervened to recommend a shorter sentence, which sparked allegations of the Justice Department coordinating with the president.

"I think it's time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases," Barr told ABC. "I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me."

After Trump praised Barr's decision to override the Stone sentencing recommendation, four prosecutors assigned to the case immediately withdrew in protest.

In November, Stone was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering during Special Counsel Robert Mueller's two-year Russia probe.

Prosecutors accused Stone of lying about his communications with WikiLeaks during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Trump even targeted the judge who will sentence Stone because it is the same one who gave tough sentences to other of the president's former associates.

During the interview Barr dismissed speculation of presidential interference, insisting that Trump had never asked him to do anything in a criminal case.

"I'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody... whether it's Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president," he said.

Barr added that he was supportive of Stone's convictions but thought the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years was excessive.

In a statement later on Thursday, a senior federal judge reacted to Trump's criticism of the judge presiding over the Stone Case. Chief US District Judge Beryl Howell of Washington said that "public criticism" is not a factor in any of the judges' sentencing decisions.

Your Thoughts and Comments