Anxious to appease the violent controversy which shakes Washington, the American Minister of Justice Bill Barr swore on Thursday that he received no order from anyone but deplored that the tweets of Donald Trump make his work “impossible”.
On the defensive since the downward revision of sentencing recommendations against Roger Stone, a friend of the president, Mr. Barr, who is regularly praised by the White House tenant, tried in an interview granted to the ABC chain to take control.
“I am glad that the president never asked me to intervene in anything in a criminal case,” he said.
“I have a problem with some of the tweets,” he added, assuring that certain positions taken by the republican billionaire on the famous social network complicated his mission.
“I think it is time to stop tweeting about the cases for which the Ministry of Justice is responsible,” he said.
The words of Mr. Barr on the tweets of @realDonaldTrump surprised so much he has multiplied, since his appointment, the positions interpreted as favorable to the president.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the President’s staunchest supporters, invited the President to “listen to his minister’s advice”.
“The justice minister said it was making his job difficult,” he said on Fox News Thursday evening.
Quickly, the White House insisted that there was no disagreement between the two men.
“The president was not embarrassed at all by these comments and has the right, like any other American citizen, to publicly share his opinions,” responded Stephanie Grisham, spokesman for the White House.
Trump “uses social media extremely effectively to fight for Americans against injustice in our country,” she added, adding that he fully trusted Bill Barr to “do his job and do respect the law”.
“Miscarriage of justice”
Roger Stone, who advised Donald Trump before and during his campaign, was convicted in November of lying to Congress and subjugating a witness as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
The four prosecutors responsible for the file had initially required between 7 and 9 years in prison against him, but the ministry tried them by asking for a sentence “much less” in the name of “interests of justice”.
Meanwhile, without it being possible to establish with certainty a cause and effect link, Donald Trump had denounced in a tweet a “very unfair situation” and a “miscarriage of justice”.
Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando, the four prosecutors who requested the initial sentences, have since served to withdraw from the Stone case in a motion sent to the judge.
The opposition immediately denounced political interference in this judicial file and even raised the possibility of an “abuse of power”. The head of the Democrats in Congress Nancy Pelosi denounced a “scandalous” decision by the Trump administration which “affects the rule of law”.
The Justice Department said its decision was made before Donald Trump’s tweet.
Roger Stone’s sentence is to be announced on February 20 by a federal judge.