President Donald Trump dismissed rare criticism from his attorney general Friday, tweeting that he has the “legal right” to intervene in criminal cases whenever he likes.
The Republican businessman has been accused by opponents in Congress of trying to strip away the Justice Department’s independence to benefit himself and his allies.
He denies this but on Thursday he came under fire from his own attorney general, Bill Barr, who complained that Trump’s frequent tweeting about ongoing criminal cases meant “I cannot do my job.”
Barr told ABC News television that “it’s time to stop the tweeting.”
The attorney general’s unusual outburst followed controversy over former Trump advisor Roger Stone, who has been convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress.
When prosecutors recommended a sentence of seven to nine years, Trump tweeted that this was a “miscarriage of justice.”
Shortly after, in a move that shocked many in Washington, the Justice Department announced it was seeking a less severe sentence. Four prosecutors quit the case in protest.
Barr, who has been frequently accused of being too cozy with the president, told ABC that Trump “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”
But Trump’s early morning tweet Friday quoted those words, then continued: “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”
There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness
As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.
He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”
It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.
This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend
As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.
At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.
Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.
The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.
Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health
On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.
"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."