Dhe US Attorney General William Barr has criticized Donald Trump’s interference in the investigation against his former advisor Roger Stone in an unusually clear manner. The President’s tweets and public comments made it “impossible” for him to do his job, the Justice Minister criticized in an interview with the American TV channel “ABC News”.
“It’s time to stop tweeting about the Justice Department’s criminal cases,” Barr said in Thursday’s interview. Although the minister did not threaten to resign, he said that he “could not do his job” if comments from the background constantly undermined him.
It was the first time that Barr commented on the crisis that the US Attorney General is currently experiencing. Trump congratulated the Justice Minister on Wednesday for intervening in Stone’s “completely out of control” case. The federal prosecutor had previously mitigated their recommendations on the sentence for the longtime Trump adviser.
In the interview, Barr emphasized his independence. “I will not be victimized or influenced by anyone,” said the Minister of Justice. Neither Congress, newspaper editors, nor the president could stop him from doing what he thought was right. Barr rejected the allegation of interference. “I am happy to say that the President never asked me to do anything in criminal proceedings,” said the Minister of Justice.
Stone was found guilty by a jury in November for interfering with Congressional investigations into the alleged covert Russian interference in Trump’s favor in the 2016 election campaign. On Monday, the public prosecutor’s office applied for a prison sentence of seven to nine years. Trump publicly flagged this as a “judicial error” that he could not allow.
The four chief prosecutors resigned after Barr’s Justice Department also criticized the criminal claim. A newly appointed public prosecutor then proposed a prison sentence of around three to four years.
The Minister of Justice was also in favor of dealing with the special investigator’s report last year Robert Mueller criticized for the Russia affair. The Democrats accused him of interpreting Mueller’s conclusions on Trump’s pleasure. The special investigator did not find sufficient evidence of illegal agreements between the Trump team and Moscow in his almost two-year investigations. However, Mueller expressly did not exonerate the President from allegations of judicial disability.
The Democrats had summoned Barr to testify before Congress because of his role in the Stone investigation. In the House of Representatives, dominated by the Democrats, the minister is to take a position on his leadership on March 31, according to a letter published Wednesday.