Attorney General William Barr offered a rare criticism of President Donald Trump this week during an interview with ABC News in which he said that Trump’s tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
Barr also said in the interview, “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”
Trump previously weighed in on a Department of Justice (DOJ) case against his former aide Roger Stone, calling it a “horrible and very unfair situation” after prosecutors recommended up to nine years for Stone.
The White House did not seem upset with Barr as White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, “The President wasn’t bothered by the comments at all, and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions.”
But some Democratic senators aren’t buying Barr’s criticism of the president.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a CNN interview, “What the attorney general is really saying is, ‘I know what President Trump wants, I’m going to do exactly what Trump wants, I just wish he wouldn’t tweet about it, because it is so embarrassing.'”
Blumenthal later added, “What the attorney general could have said that would have satisfied me is that he is resigning. I called for his resignation.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal after William Barr criticizes Trump's tweets: "What the attorney general could have said to satisfy me is that he was resigning. … I think that he is part of a pattern of political interference in the Department of Justice that is absolutely intolerable" pic.twitter.com/l169sUcM6o— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 14, 2020
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) echoed Blumenthal’s skepticism during a CNN interview on Friday morning, saying, “We should be more than concerned. We should be very afraid that the president will use the Justice Department and his handmaiden Bill Barr to go after his what the president considers his political enemies.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono: "We should very afraid that the President will use the Justice Department and his handmaiden Bill Barr to go after what the President considers his political enemies." pic.twitter.com/ESZjrd4tvj— The Hill (@thehill) February 14, 2020
All four of the prosecutors in the Roger Stone case quit the case after the president weighed in on Twitter. That caused even more visibility to be drawn to the case and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the attorney general to resign.