Attorney General William Barr recently complained that President Donald Trump makes it “impossible” for him to do his job when he tweets about cases that are still making their way through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the federal courts — for example, the criminal case of long-time Trump ally and veteran GOP operative Roger Stone. But Barr remains a Trump loyalist, and Law & Crime reporter Jerry Lambe notes in an article published on February 25 that Trump continues to tweet about Stone’s case.
It was also on February 25 that Trump posted a tweet railing against Judge Amy Berman Jackson (who sentenced Stone to three years and four months in prison) and Tomeka Hart, who was the foreperson in Stone’s trial and has criticized the president on social media. Trump said of Hart, “There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case. Look at her background. She never revealed her hatred of ‘Trump’ and Stone. She was totally biased, as is the judge. Roger wasn’t even working on my campaign. Miscarriage of justice. Sad to watch!”
That same day, Trump retweeted a post by libertarian Andrew Napolitano, legal analyst for Fox News and a former judge. Napolitano, unlike his colleagues at Fox News, has been quite critical of Trump at times — but in the tweet that Trump forwarded, Napolitano wrote that Jackson’s “bias may have jeopardized the entire trial.”
Trump’s February 25 tweets, Lambe observes, demonstrate that he “has clearly ignored” Barr’s “request to stop tweeting about DOJ’s criminal cases and the judges presiding over them.”
Attorney Susan Hennessey, a legal/national security analyst for CNN, tweeted, “I’m starting to think that maybe Bill Barr’s bold stand against the president might have just been a bunch of nonsense posturing.” And Jennifer Taub, a professor at the University of Vermont Law School, responded to Trump’s “a juror so tainted” tweet and sarcastically posted, “Dear @TheJusticeDept, is this tweet making it impossible for Attorney General Barr to do his job?”
On February 25, the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake observed, “Trump has sent 4 tweets about the Roger Stone case today, including during a hearing. It has been 11 days since William Barr said Trump tweeting about DOJ business made it ‘impossible for me to do my job.’”