Donald John Trump is the quintessential Republican In Name Only.
Of that there ought to be little discussion. He is the RINO in chief of the party under whose banner he ran for president in 2016.
Now some of the actual Republicans within the GOP are urging the current president to leave his mitts off of William Barr’s Department of Justice apparatus.
Is the RINO in chief going to listen? Will he cease denigrating the Justice Department professional prosecutors? Will he let the AG do his job, which is to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official — contrary to what Trump has said, declaring himself to be the nation’s top cop. No. He won’t do any of it. Not ever.
One of those actual Republicans, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, said this: “The president does have a tendency to lash out and I think in this case he would be well advised to try to temper that.”
No kidding, senator? Cornyn has just “advised” him to do what he suggests.
As for Barr, he has disappointed me terribly. I had high hope that he’d take his post as AG and restore its integrity, which had been sullied by the incessant berating of former AG Jeff Sessions by the RINO in chief. After all, he had served as attorney general near the end of President Bush 41’s term in office. He brought experience running the DOJ the right way.
It hasn’t happened. The RINO in chief is worsening the Barr era at Justice by tweeting constantly about pending criminal cases. Barr reportedly is threatening to quit; other media reports say he isn’t going anywhere.
Meanwhile, the DOJ career prosecutors and their legal staffs are being whipsawed and buggy-whipped by the turmoil.
I am wondering at this moment: How in the world does the attorney general actually stomach all this tempest if he is serious about the expression of angst over Trump’s Twitter tirades?
The word is out via the Washington Post that Attorney General William Barr is so fed up with Donald Trump that he is considering taking a hike from his post.
He is tired of POTUS’s tweets about current cases and is tired of Trump’s attempts to undermine the legal pros who work for Barr at the Department of Justice. Or so it is being reported.
The quit-now chorus is growing in Washington, for those reasons and for others relating to the work he has done as attorney general, namely his seeming loyalty first to the president and his apparent rejection of the oath he took to defend and protect the Constitution.
I am generally in the latter camp. I am greatly disappointed in the job Barr has done. He has acted far more like Donald Trump’s personal lawyer than a man who took a sacred oath to protect the nation’s governing document.
However, if he wants to quit and cite the president’s interference, well, that’s fine with me, too.
William Barr would be entitled to use whatever reason he chooses to use. Indeed, the apparent burgeoning tension between the president and the AG would seem to be reason enough for Barr to call it quits on the guy Trump reportedly wanted to be his “Roy Cohn.”
And, just who was Cohn? He was the infamous attorney who stood up for the equally infamous Sen. Joseph McCarthy who launched the anti-commie tirade in the early 1950s. Cohn ended up getting disgraced and disbarred over the manner in which he conducted himself while McCarthy sought to ferret out communist infiltrators in our federal government.
In any event, William Barr likely needs to go. Count me as one American who’s all-in on the attorney general hitting the road.
Here’s a flash for you: Donald John Trump happens to be correct in saying that his meddling in U.S. Department of Justice criminal matters is “legal.”
It doesn’t make it right. However, what Trump is doing with his meddlesome tweets about DOJ cases and his undermining of the attorney general’s authority on certain matters doesn’t break any laws.
So, this president now freed of the threat of impeachment — at least for now — has embarked on a new campaign of heightened abuses of the office he still occupies.
Trump fired off a Twitter message that disparaged a sentence recommendation for his old pal Roger Stone, whom a jury convicted of multiple felonies. Attorney General William Barr then responded by reducing the recommendations. The line prosecutors who authored the initial request quit in protest.
Barr then told ABC News that Trump should stop tweeting about these matters, saying it makes it “impossible” for him to do his job.
Trump has kept tweeting messages. Barr is thought to be angry about it. Trump then said what he’s doing is “legal.” Yes. It is legal.
It is wrong, nonetheless. It is wrong for Trump to throw his weight around in this blatant manner. It is wrong to interfere with the attorney general’s duties. It is wrong to meddle in the nuts and bolts of sentencing, which is handled in this case by a federal judge … who also has drawn brickbats hurled at her by the president. Whatever happened to the “independent” federal judiciary? Trump is undermining that independence, too!
Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing in real time a president who is seeking to reconfigure the relationship between his office and the rule of law.
I am frightened at what we are seeing.
Oh, how I want to believe Attorney General William Barr’s declaration that Donald Trump’s tweeting about pending criminal justice matters makes it “impossible” for the AG to do his job.
It’s just that whenever anything emerges with Donald Trump’s fingerprints on it, one must look for the rest of the story.
Barr told ABC News that he wants the president to stop tweeting about pending cases. He said the president is interfering with Justice Department officials doing their job.
Barr also said that his decision to recommend a lighter sentence for Trump pal Roger Stone than the one that prosecutors had sought had nothing to do with Trump’s tweet that called the prosecutors’ recommendation a “miscarriage of justice.”
However, I am left to wonder whether that is the whole truth. He could make that declaration without acknowledging any sort of pre-arranged agreement with Trump … correct?
I want to get back to the key point, which is that if Trump is going to continue to tweet and commend openly about matters that require discretion, that Barr’s job will remain an impossibility.
What does the AG do? He should just quit. Walk away. Go back to private practice. Leave the chaos and confusion to the next sucker who is willing to take the thankless job of reporting to the current president of the United States.
I had hoped that William Barr would be the grownup in a Cabinet full of sycophants and toadies. He has proven me wrong. Barr could restore some of that hope simply by quitting.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has laid down an important marker.
He said in an ABC News interview that Donald John Trump’s tweets make it “impossible for me to do my job.” He added that “I think it’s time to stop tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”
Yep, the AG said that. He told ABC correspondent Pierre Thomas that very thing.
Trump has been tweeting about Justice Department recommendations that his pal Roger Stone should get a seven- to nine-year prison term for lying to Congress and for witness intimidation.
He also has been chiding the federal judge presiding over the case. The president has been interfering directly in the criminal justice process.
So, Barr says the president’s interference makes it “impossible” for him to continue as attorney general?
Here’s a thought, Mr. AG: You should grant yourself and the rest of us a profound public service … by resigning.
What in the name of judicial integrity has gotten into U.S. Attorney General William Barr?
The AG consented to an interview with ABC News and criticized Donald John Trump for commenting on pending judicial cases, for criticizing federal judges, for using his Twitter account to set policy.
When pressed by ABC News correspondent Pierre Thomas about how the president will react to being criticized by a member of the Cabinet, Barr said he will resist being “bullied” by anyone, and that includes the president of the United States.
Trump has been on a Twitter tirade of late, criticizing former White House chief of staff John Kelly over the ex-chief’s criticism of Trump over his handling of firing Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and other matters relating to the Ukraine matter that led to the House impeachment of Trump.
Now comes the attorney general, who’s been a disappointment to many of us who had hoped he would be the grownup among Trump sycophants. He has proved to be little more than a Trump toadie … at least until right about now!
Barr is saying what he should have been saying all along, that Trump is behaving badly and is putting the country in dire jeopardy with his irresponsible assertions via Twitter about pending legal matters. The president’s interference in the Roger Stone sentencing recommendation from DOJ prosecutors is just the latest example.
Stone faces a prison sentence after a jury convicted him of lying under oath and intimidating witnesses related to the Russia election attack probe. DOJ attorneys recommended seven to nine years in the slammer. Trump called the recommendation a “miscarriage of justice”; Barr responded by reducing the recommendation.
My sense, though, after hearing his ABC interview, is that he doesn’t like Trump meddling in these matters.
What are you talking about, Mr. President?
You went off on that White House rant about Roger Stone being humiliated, ruined, framed by “corrupt” Justice Department prosecutors. I’ll get right to the point, Mr. President.
You, sir, are full of sh**.
Your railing against the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years is based on clear-cut charges that the jury convicted Stone of committing. Yet you said “no one knows” what the charges are. Really?
The jury convicted your pal of lying to Congress — under oath; of witness tampering; of witness intimidation. It’s on the record, Mr. President. If you took the time to read anything, you would know it.
Aw, but what the heck. That wouldn’t stop you, as near as I can tell, from blathering idiocy, which is what you did in the presence of the Ecuadoran president.
Stone is a convicted felon. He deserves to spend time in prison. The sentencing recommendation was appropriate. And yet you interfered with sentencing policies. It looks to me as if you cowed the attorney general into reducing the sentencing recommendation.
As for the prosecutors who quit in protest, they showed considerable courage and commitment to the rule of law.
Unlike you and so many of your Republican allies in Congress.
Four prosecutors who recommended a seven- to nine-year prison term for a convicted felon who’s also a friend of Donald John Trump have quit.
Why? Because the attorney general of the United States, William Barr, has said he wants to reduce their recommendation to send Trump pal Roger Stone to the slammer for as long as nine years.
Does this seem like political meddling in the criminal justice process? It does to me.
And who, pre-tell, ordered this recommendation? It might have come from, oh let’s see, the White House.
Stone is awaiting sentencing for lying under oath and for hindering the investigation into the Russian collusion matter that ended up on special counsel Robert Mueller III’s desk.
Trump called the career prosecutors’ sentence recommendation a “miscarriage of justice.” My question now is whether Barr acted on the president’s Twitter rant. If so, then it looks for all the world to me as though we have yet another case of presidential meddling where it does not belong.
The prosecutors who quit have shown considerable backbone and grit in walking away from their responsibilities in this matter. They remind me of when AG Elliot Richardson and his deputy William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than follow President Nixon’s order in 1973 to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox as the Watergate scandal began to spin out of control.
These four prosecutors today can stand tall for the principle they have endorsed.
I wanted William Barr to be a stellar choice to become U.S. attorney general. I wanted him to demonstrate that Donald Trump was capable of selecting someone with high honor, integrity and gravitas.
He has disappointed me in the extreme.
Barr came to the AG post after serving in that position for President Bush 41. He distinguished himself well serving as the head of Justice Department near the end of President Bush’s single term. My hope when he emerged as the successor to Jeff Sessions was that he would do so yet again.
Instead, he has done so many things that have shattered my misplaced optimism.
He disagreed with the inspector general’s findings that the FBI was not motivated by partisan bias when it began its probe into the Russian attack on our electoral system; he continues to insist that the FBI “spied” on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign; he misrepresented special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings into “The Russia Thing”; he said Mueller cleared Trump of “collusion,” when Mueller did nothing of the kind.
Former AG Eric Holder has said that Barr is “unfit” to serve as attorney general. I fear he is right.
William Barr took an oath in effect to be the people’s lawyer. He has become the president’s personal legal bag man.
He is the No. 1 disappointment to emerge from the Trump morass.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr sought to buck up the nation’s law enforcement network, but in doing so he seems to have suggested something dire and dangerous if the cops don’t get the respect they deserve from the communities they serve.
“They have to start showing more respect than they do,” Barr said of the public. “If communities don’t give [law enforcement] the support and respect they deserve, they may find themselves without the services they need.”
It makes me go, “huh?”
Is the attorney general actually suggesting — if not encouraging — that police might not respond to calls for help? Is he saying that police officers might give citizens the short shrift if they need protection?
Say it ain’t so, Mr. Attorney General.
In a ceremony honoring the top police officers from around the nation, Barr noted that military veterans suffered years of scorn in the years immediately after the Vietnam War; that has changed dramatically since the time of the Persian Gulf War. This veteran thanks my fellow Americans for the change of heart.
Are the nation’s police officers feeling the same level of disrespect? Hmm. I don’t know for certain, but it seems as if that the AG’s comparison is a bit overcooked.
If the attorney general is encouraging cops to go slow on emergency responses because the communities they serve don’t love them as much as they should, then he is committing a profound disservice to the nation … and its police forces.