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AG Barr on Trump tweets: 'Impossible for me to do my job'

Posted at 4:15 PM, Feb 13, 2020

Attorney General William Barr said in an interview aired by ABC News on Thursday that recent tweets and statements from President Donald Trump have made it "impossible" for him to do his job.

Barr's response to questions on whether his decision to overrule DOJ prosecutors on lowering the sentencing recommendation for Trump ally Roger Stone offered some criticism of the president. Barr added that he did not have any direct conversations with the president on Stone's sentencing.

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody ... whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr told ABC News. “I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

On Wednesday, Trump thanked Barr for his decision to step in on the Stone case.

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”

Barr has agreed to go before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31 to respond to allegations that the Department of Justice is making decisions that are politically influenced.

The House Judiciary Committee wants to question Barr on three incidents from this week that it found questionable.

Stone was convicted on charges of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing a House investigation. On Monday, the prosecution asked the judge for a 7-9 year sentence of Stone. But following tweets from the president saying the DOJ's recommended sentence was too harsh, Barr overruled the prosecutors, stating that the sentencing guidelines prosecutors used were too harsh.

"This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

All four DOJ prosecutors involved in the case stepped away from the case on Tuesday.

A second incident the committee is investigating is on Barr stating publicly that he has opened a "channel" for President Donald Trump's attorney Rudolph Giuliani to deliver information to the DOJ involving presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Giuliani has openly said that he is looking for information from the Ukrainian government on whether the former vice president and his son conducted any wrongdoing when Joe Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor.

The third is the decision to pull the nomination of Jessie Liu, who is a U.S. Attorney who originally was nominated for a post in the Treasury Department. Liu oversaw the office that tried the prosecutions of several Trump allies, including Stone and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The Judiciary Committee is chaired by Democrat Jerry Nadler, who was on the team that managed Trump's impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.