Barr Says Attacks From Trump Make Work ‘Impossible’

The attorney general said that the president’s attacks on prosecutors’ handling of his friend Roger Stone’s sentencing undermine the legal system and the Justice Department.

Comments: 206

  1. What an interesting bit of theater.

  2. Don't fall for the smokescreen. Barr is absolutely, 100% in Trump's camp. He only makes these comments knowing full well that any further down this road could turn the public on him and undermine HIS authority in the justice department. All of his prior actions (and even comments) fully reflect this. Judge him as harshly and continuously as he deserves - as a full, 100% enabler of the Trump criminal enterprise.

  3. @agarose2000 Unfortunately, I think you may be right.

  4. @agarose2000 Barr should do nothing to trigger any discussion of his ethics, it will only remind folks of his daddy's connection to Epstein.

  5. All talk and no action make Bill Barr a Very Boring Boy. Move on, folks! Nothing to see here! It's just a silly game for the media. Barr is still faithfully in trump's camp. Until he takes action, does something to anger trump, he remains his loyal lap-dog.

  6. This was the bridge too far? Too little too late Mr. Barr.

  7. If the Attorney General were truly concerned about doing his job, he'd do it, with his actions demonstrating his respect for the rule of law. Talk is cheap.

  8. It's getting harder and harder to discern the truth about Barr. So, is he going to reverse course now and support the original prosecutors' recommendations for sentencing?

  9. A) it’s interesting to see where Barr’s red lines are B) He knew what he was signing up for and played along as long as he could without his own reputation being indelibly tarnished C) the ghost of John Mitchell past... Barr has neither my sympathy nor respect.

  10. Perhaps this is "The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back" which allows this tragedy to collapse in to the dustbin of history and signal a lead in to the end and incarceration of Trump and his family for many many years.

  11. @Marko Polo Or it could be a straw man.

  12. The elephant in the room (so to speak) is the question of whether we take Mr. Barr at his word. Personally, I am unconvinced of Mr. Barr's judicial independence from our Donny Boy. If Mr. Barr was truly independent, he would be asked to resign. -C

  13. A year of disgraceful misconduct on his part and now he has a crisis of conscience? Pardon me if I'm skeptical. I'll believe it when he does the right thing and resigns.

  14. @David Or do a better thing, indict Trump.

  15. @David Maybe when Barr resigns Trump can appoint the Hamburglar as attorney general.

  16. It is far too late for Barr to do the “right thing”. He should have been disbarred After his poisoning of the Mueller report.

  17. He speaks! How about that. It turns out the Mr. Barr has something to say to Trump. Methinks this is going to be like a classic Susan Collins admonishment: expect a deeply furrowed brow, some pithy words about American values, followed a serious-sounding harrumph that dissolves into a whole lot of nothing. It's quite something to hear another toothless Republican roar!

  18. If he has any integrity (which I doubt) he should resign immediately and inform President Trump of the damage he is doing to the country. Actions speak louder than words

  19. What a wonderfully shocking (if sadly overdue) show of integrity and courage by AG Barr.

  20. @Jay Moskovitz sarcasm/What a wonderfully shocking (if sadly overdue) show of integrity and courage by AG Barr./sarcasm. There. Corrected it for you.

  21. Days late, AG Barr should not have wait until viewing news coverage to decide something is not right. The prosecutors could see this clearly and at greater risk resigned.

  22. @sophia Barr's refusal to be bullied is similar to Trump's release of funds to Ukraine. Each felt heat and reversed themselves, while trying to backdate the decisions.

  23. Has he resigned yet? Does he have as much honor as the prosecutors who have resigned? Or is he another Susan Collins, making noises that give the appearance of honor while having none.

  24. Barr has absolutely no honor.

  25. @No name Exactly....

  26. Daily developments. The latest punches and counter punches from our cast of political deplorables. This afternoon watching TV I’m trying to choose ---on TCM there’s an old movie ‘I Am a Fugitive From A Chain Gang, 1932, starring the great character actor, Paul Muni. A rather depressing movie about prison abuse. VS Or there's cable TV news on our current politics starring the atrocious Donald Trump-- impersonating a president ---who probably should be in prison. It's about abuse of our politics, and even more depressing. One is old movie fiction, the other today’s reality.

  27. @Meredith Easy choice: "Fugitive"

  28. Barr won't be bullied by Trump? Then why didn't he refuse to intervene to lower the Justice Department's sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone? Maybe I'm too cynical but this sounds a lot like Ukraine President Zelensky saying he felt no pressure from Trump to investigate the Bidens. Trump may just use this statement from Barr to claim that the Justice Department did not feel pressured by him to do anything in the Stone case.

  29. @Jay Orchard except Zelensky wasn't complicit

  30. Wait. What was that? Is that the encouraging sound of a spine growing? Allowing its owner to stand upright? On his own two feet? Or is that the disturbing sound of yet another box being packed. Whatever the case, if even Barr has had enough, maybe it’s time for Mueller, Kelly and the rest of Trump’s badmouthing targets to finally step up for the sake of their country and start fighting back. Looking at you Bolton.

  31. I doubt it. Just a throwaway statement that means nothing. Barr’s words mean nothing. Let’s watch his actions

  32. @Scott Montgomery AG Barr will be gone by tomorrow. Lindsey Graham or Jay Sekulow or Doug Collins will be announced as the new "interim" AG. (I hope it's not Doug Collins because we need him to stay in the Georgia Senate race so he can run against fellow Republican Kelly Loefler and split the Republican vote this fall.)

  33. @Bob Swygert I think you're right. Trump can't take a public smackdown even if Barr sets himself on fire in the Offal Office tonight as a sign of ultimate contrition. Maybe Susan Collins will replace him. Good, solid lapdog choice. Or what the heck. Maybe Trump takes over that office too. He already owns the Senate. Who'll stop him?

  34. Interesting. I thought retooling the mechanisms of government to make Trump’s lies seem true WAS Barr’s job.

  35. "While the officials blamed the original filing on a miscommunication and said they had intended to correct it even before Mr. Trump assailed it . . ." said Alice as she prepared for a tea party with . . . .

  36. Is Mr Barr speaking about some time in the future when he says he's not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody? Maybe the mic didn't pick up all the qualifications that followed, like "besides Trump or McConnell or anyone else that is, was, or ever will be in the GOP."

  37. This article is confusing--the the one hand, Barr is saying he "won’t be bullied" and that Trump’s tweets are uncomfortable for him and keep him from “doing his job.” On the other hand, the very next day after Trump sent his first tweet on this, Barr had already “intervened to lower the recommendation” [of the 7-9 year sentence]. So, is he now complaining about Trump as the "bully," or about the media that has criticized him in the wake of this decision he already made? This is how I'm reading it for now: that he won't be “bullied” out of reversing it.

  38. oh, wait. Now that I've read the original ABC news article, I get it: "Barr said Trump’s middle-of-the-night tweet put him in a bad position. He insists he had ALREADY discussed with staff that the sentencing recommendation was too long." When asked if he had discussed this first with the President, he said "NO," emphatically. Well, I for one don't believe this for a minute. This is his attempt at damage control.

  39. I'd call it a smokescreen were it not already so obvious. I guess Mr. Barr asked for and got permission from Trump to say these things. Their continuing drive to act, retract, confuse, conflate and sublimate has resulted in no one with any sense believing anything Barr says. He has sold his soul. Period.

  40. Just playing word games. Resigning would be the honorable move.

  41. He's trying to cover his tracks. I don't think that he is that independent from the president ; he just wants the public to think he is.

  42. @Asti But isn't that wrong? I can't stop laughing.

  43. @Asti Unfortunately, too much of the public believes just about anything coming from these louts.

  44. A new day, and more nuttiness. By now shouldn't we be comfortable with the chaos? Barr is practicing playing the trumpian game. He made us question reality - is it upside-down? Ignore what he said. Watch what he does. Guaranteed, he won't do anything to defy or stop trump!

  45. This is not an extraordinary break nor is it a rebuke. It is damage control and an awkward attempt to appear independent while continuing to do Trump's bidding. But you knew that.

  46. @DD Ramone YES. Barr has not redeemed himself here, only taken (perhaps) the first step towards locating some principles. Everyone needs to be cautious not to assume that people who have been enabling the administration now suddenly truly want to curtail it. If Barr really wanted to reign in Trump, he'd have done it 1,000 times before.

  47. @DD Ramone Right on the mark.I do not trust Barr nor do I respect him. As far as I am concerned he sold his soul to the devil and lost his moral compass.

  48. @DD Ramone Maybe, maybe not. It is certainly significant. We have never heard any pushback from Barr to date and Potus will surely be displeased at his statements today. Whether that gets walked back in some form in coming days/weeks is still unkown. But it is significant.

  49. If Mr. Barr were doing his job with integrity and according to the legal parameters that have been set by the courts, he would not have to worry about the "constant background commentary that undercuts" him.

  50. This is a major event if it is not just posturing on Barr's part. The clock is ticking for a Trump tweet. If we do NOT see one then something is fishy. Trump never misses an opportunity to attack those who are perceived as going against his wishes.

  51. @Michael My thoughts, exactly.

  52. So, saying the quiet thing out loud, finally, is become unacceptable when you’d rather get away with it in silence.

  53. One is forced to wonder if this defiance is genuine. Would Trump allow this from any other appointee? If it goes unchallenged, credulity will be strained.

  54. Finally! After time and time again of seeing Trump successfully meddle in our democratic institutions — no less with justice this time — someone has come to their senses once and put their foot down. I disagree with many things Mr. Barr supports, but admire his courage to stand up to a bully when justice is on the line.

  55. You don't really take Barr's words as sincere, do you? Please say no.

  56. I wouldn't appear that Barr needed to be 'bullied' as he put it...he seems to go along pretty willingly.

  57. If you won't be bullied by Trump, Mr. Barr, you have no choice but to resign immediately.

  58. Exactly! It's as simple as that but Barr is a liar just like his "boss"!

  59. Trump has completely lost his mind. He has lost it many times, but since the impeachment acquittal his loss has taken on epic proportions. The problem is that no one is going to try to stop this fool madman until he has tanks rolling down the mall, and it'll be too late by then.

  60. @Carlotta trump was impeached by the House. That is on record. he was not removed by the senate.

  61. What Barr said: I can't do my job with Trump tweeting attacks against the Justice Department. What Barr meant: I will be glad to do Trump's bidding but he needs to keep his mouth shut while I do that.

  62. @Jay Orchard Or even: "I know what to do without even being told."

  63. Exactly.

  64. @WZ Hear, hear!

  65. Mr. Barr is lying. If he does not resign in protest, nothing he says has any value.

  66. @Stephen Respectfully, nothing Barr has said has had any value since he informed us the Mueller Report completely "exonerated" the so-called "president."

  67. Said the man* who misrepresented the Mueller report, pursued the lie of Burisma, separated children from parents, withheld information from Congress and has been an all-round tool of the current User-in-Chief. Queue the tiniest of violins, please. * in the biological sense only

  68. Barr has already been "bullied" by trump. Now he's just trying to take the blame for the Justice Department interference off trump and onto himself. He's trying to protect trump because he knows it was the wrong thing to do. Loyal defender falls on his sword. Hope it doesn't work.

  69. Problem is Mr. Barr, you are not in fact doing your work with integrity. That might undermine things a bit as well.

  70. “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody,” Mr. Barr said. Mr. Trump’s criticisms “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” Mr. Barr said. So whatcha gonna do about it, Billy? Stand up to Trump? Quit? Or continue to cave and kowtow to the president and complain about how bad you feel having to do that?

  71. Come on, really? This isn't Barr's public show to calm down the press & Department of Justice?

  72. We can only hope he will be honest and forthcoming in his testimony to the house

  73. @Dustin Don't hold your breath. He'll obfuscate and temporize because that is his nature.

  74. Mr. Barr is one of Trump's "trusted advisors". Please don't forget Trump's “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!” Mueller lie to Congress? More like Barr and Trump came up with a ploy to deflect the heat.

  75. Mr. Barr is treading water. He will most likely sink into the swap with the rest of Trump's mob.

  76. Barr says, “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody.” Too late, sir.

  77. @Deb S. He hasn't been bullied in any respect. He abased himself to get this job and has acted as a faithful lackey since he joined Trump. He is without morals - a disciple of Torquemada who wraps himself in sanctity while lighting the fires of purity.

  78. @Red Howler Fair enough.

  79. we've known all along that trump turns on everybody... could this be the beginning of everyone turning on trump??

  80. This is more White House theater: say one thing, do another. AG Barr, tweets are not the problem. Your complicity with, and protection of, this rogue president continues the heavy erosion of truth and justice. If everyone stood up against him, showed the country proof of his crimes, we'd eventually be able to right this ship.

  81. From the cited excerpts I can't tell if Barr were saying he wouldn't be bullied by the press or the president.

  82. Translation - In the future, President Trump, lay off the tweets. Just call me on one of your burner phones. We don’t need the publicity.

  83. @M Werner Except Trump cannot restrain himself. Next time expect Barr to sigh and say "there he goes again."

  84. @M Werner Yep. Just a brushback pitch from Barr.

  85. @M Werner Barr said, I'm going to do what I think is right". That isn't very reassuring, given that Barr is a religious extremist who believes there's no place for secularism in our government. Secularism is an abomination in Barr’s theocratic mind, despite the law of the land being unmistakably secular. Barr, like many other fanatical Christians, view trump as a means to their goal of establishing a fascist-Christian theocratic state. Barr and people like him (i.e. Mike Pompeo) are incredibly dangerous -- they're as good of a reason as any to vote Trump out of office. Elections have consequences.

  86. "People close to the president said they were caught off guard by the interview." If you truly believe this, I don't know what to tell you. This was coordinated, if not with the president, then with the semi-sane people still at the WH.

  87. i'm inclined to agree, but I'll withhold judgment until I see what does or doesn't get posted at cock's-crow hour tomorrow.

  88. “It’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.” So, don't stop telling the DOJ what to do.. just stop making it public. At least he's exhibiting some shame.

  89. @JSL Barr consistently demonstrates his inability to feel shame. Today he was simply reading a Trump script,hoping we would believe his pathetic lies.

  90. Day late, dollar short. Mr. Barr, The damage to the US DOJ has been done starting with your not so slick ham handed misdirection on the Mueller Russian interference report. You cannot un-ring the bell.

  91. Mr. Barr should go to prison For his crimes against the United States of America. Lock him up!

  92. He really believed Mr. Trump could be satisfied?

  93. Nobody can work under Mr. trump. In this real reality show it is always "You are fired"!

  94. Absolute chaos. 4 more years of this is unthinkable!

  95. @Roger and yet here we are....

  96. @Roger Better get prepared. Sadly, so sadly, I don’t see him losing the electoral college

  97. @Roger Unthinkable to you, not to @realpreisdentPutin.

  98. Is he starting belatedly to worry about his reputation (and job).

  99. @Sydney Kaye I doubt it.

  100. @Sydney Kaye No.

  101. I can't decode this anymore. Barr intervenes in a sentencing issue, and then states he will not be bullied. Shouldn't he first claim he will not be bullied, and then refuse to intervene? Backwards reels the mind.

  102. @Bill Right! Did Barr just now realize that having to kowtow to an angry lawless egotistical sociopath would make upholding the law and achieving justice impossible?

  103. @Bill ____Barr must think we are pretty naive. As Michael Cohen famously said: "Trump didn't have to TELL me what to do.".

  104. @Bill Decoding anything these guys say is easy: every word is a lie.

  105. If Barr wants to convince us this isn't act of some kind, he should resign in protest of the pressure coming from the President.

  106. or maybe do the job with integrity if I was a betting man, the odds o him resigning or going the right thing are a million to 0ne

  107. Color me jaded, I'll wait to see what the end game is before I embrace this.

  108. “In an extraordinary rebuke of President Trump, Attorney General William P. Barr said on Thursday...” If he were properly doing his job even at all there would be nothing “extraordinary” about it. How far are we going to fall?

  109. Today's events almost make Barr seem...reasonable? Doing his job with some integrity? I don't know what's behind his statements, but I'm pretty sure they have nothing to do with looking out for justice and democracy. This is a blip.

  110. From the article . . . "Mr. Trump’s criticisms “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” Mr. Barr said. "He added, “It’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.” What did he think was going to happen? It's not like trump wasn't bashing the DOJ, et al., before Barr joined up.

  111. Barr has gone too far for his one rebuke of Trump’s behavior now to be believed. He needs to resign.

  112. Good bye Mr. Barr. No one is allowed to demonstrate any sign of backbone or integrity in this administration, Barr will not be allowed to stay. The only question is how many days until Trump fires him. And, Mr. Barr---- FAR TOO LITTLE, FAR TOO LATE for you to salvage your reputation.

  113. @Ron Trump will never fire Barr, nor will Barr quit. They are two peas in a pod, power hungry and totally corrupt. Todays “announcement” was simply Barr reading from an old Apprentice script, with Trump looking on in approval. He is attempting, and failing, to make himself look as if he deliberates and makes decisions that are independent and just. This reads like a comedy/ tragedy

  114. Mr. Barr's comments are self-serving and calculated to rationalize his actions. Essentially, Mr. Barr is arguing that he was not cowed by Mr. Trump. Mr. Barr wants us to believe that he is independent and his decision to recommend a lesser sentence for Roger Stone was coincidental to, and not because of, Mr. Trump's tweets excoriating Mr. Stone's 7-9 year sentence. But we have the benefit of seeing Mr. Barr repeatedly jump to Mr. Trump's demands. Mr. Barr is not principled. He's Mr. Trump's lackey; but Mr. Barr wants to maintain the appearance of independence (and dignity).

  115. @Seamus If Barr wants to appear dignified, his actions should be dignified. Not gonna happen. He's only too happy to do #45's wishes.

  116. Too little too late from Mr. Barr. You can't change your stripes now, after all that you have done for Mr. Trump instead of in the best interest of the American People.

  117. Barr is performing kabuki theater to to create the appearance of independence from Trump, when he has consistently lied, perverted the rule of law, and corrupted the institution he leads in order to do Trump's bidding.

  118. @Tom McNeely-William Barr has ties to Russian oligarchs whom he represented while at Kirkland Ellis; ties to NY real estate; ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Donald Trump also has ties to each. Here's hoping more truth will come out about these sordid associations.

  119. Mr. Barr is very cagey and may not say at all what he really means. He has progressed as the AG of Subterfuge and could certainly be the "King of Kansas City" on Sputnik Radio.

  120. Barr is Trump's political hatchet man. This is optics pure and simple. A quote for Fox news to run with so they can claim Barr is independent while he continues to obsequiously carry out Trump's unlawful bidding.

  121. What integrity! Certainly not his handling of the Mueller investigation where he basically pinned the results favorably for Trump. Too late for Barr to even remotely appear unbiased or not being one of Trump's lap dogs.

  122. "I cannot do my job here..." He really should have just stopped there and resigned.

  123. @Brandon Barr should have resigned a long time ago. He doesn't act with principle. In doing #45's bidding, he's made a joke of our legal system. But he's not the only one who's done that. (See McConnell and his cronies, starting as soon as Obama was elected.)

  124. @Brandon Yes, but that takes courage and he has none.

  125. He's right of course, but it sounds like a PR move more than anything else. Wonder if the President* will listen to him.

  126. @JP: Trump would never agree to a PR move that makes him look weak.

  127. @JP It's all coordinated with the WH. Don't buy the smokescreen for a minute.

  128. If the job is "impossible" for William Barr to do, then he should resign in protest. He, however, will not leave because he wants to continue his Attorney General position. It seems nothing more than crocodile tears to me.

  129. @Gregory D. Ziegler Given that Barr is just as, if not more (is that possible?) corrupt than his "boss", I find Barr's latest statements beyond laughable.

  130. Hedging against Trump being defeated in 2020

  131. @Gregory D. Ziegler I don't think he has any more backbone than susan collins.

  132. I think he’s lying again. He likes being king as much as DT. Let’s see if he testifies to Congress, answers questions and tells the truth. Also, he should be forced to release documents requested by congress. It’s too late for him to recover his reputation and that of DOJ. If he can’t do the job, resign.

  133. @EJ He showed us what he's made of with his version of Mr. Mueller's report.

  134. @EJ Yes, where are the documents?

  135. @EJ Barr is operating with a much larger agenda. It has nothing to do with being "king." He is a member of the fanatical religious sect Opus Dei and his grand agenda is "the overwhelming desire to impose both a theocratic cultural agenda coupled with a laissez-faire-tinged brand of capitalism rapidly devolving into a new feudalism.” [Tom Boggioni, Raw Story]. These people believe they are on a Mission from God to dissolve the separation of church and state and establish "christian" sharia law. If it takes lying and cheating and supporting a criminal despot, then that is what they will do.

  136. Days late, AG Barr should not have wait until viewing news coverage to decide something is not right. The prosecutors could see this clearly and at greater risk resigned. Where was the internal backing then?

  137. @sophia Yes, many days late - a whole year's worth.

  138. A rebuke of President Trump? Really? Sounds like a planned response to deflect the real goal, which is to give Stone a lighter sentence and AG Barr the ability to keep on representing his only client.

  139. @SC Yankee absolutely ..nothing but an attempt to con the judge. it won't work

  140. @SC Yankee Yes, it feels like one of those tense but scripted moments on some reality TV show.

  141. @SC Yankee What I don't get is why Trump is making any hay at all over the length of Stone's sentence since I presume he has a pardon in store for the guy. I think this is about political theater; making a show about "justice" "fairness" and other issues. The President is just grabbing airwaves, digital space, headlines, and is taking energy from bigger more urgent matters.

  142. First nine GOP senators vote to restrain Trump from warring with Iran. Then Barr comes out and complains Trump is interfering with his job. This smells like an organized effort to get in front of Democratic charges that Trump is becoming a dictator. Instead, his crew is re-positioning him as a "law-abiding president who now that he knows, will abide by traditional limits," even though he's not and he won't. After all, who would vote against a law-abiding president. So transparent!

  143. @Jay S Trump isn't that smart to orchestrate something like this. Everyone reaches their tipping point at some time.

  144. @Hugh G I agree in full with the lack of faculties on the part of Mr. Trump. But a dictator always needs smart and loyal cronies in order to properly establish control.

  145. @Jay S ... Mark my words. Trump will fire Barr before he has the change to appear before Congress in March.

  146. If Barr is determined not to be bullied or allow interference by the President in Justice Department issues, why did he acquiesce to the demands for a shorter sentence by taking control himself. His words are heartening and his actions are confusing. Chaos still reigns in this administration created primarily by the man in the Oval Office.

  147. The words are just a distraction They mean nothing coming from Barr. I didn’t eat the brownie says the man with chocolate all over his face

  148. @Dennis W His words are hollow. His actions nefarious. If I've learned one thing about the Trump "Administration," it's to never believe a word out of their lying mouths.

  149. @Dennis W A classic technique of psychopathic liars: say nice things that are the diametric opposite of what you do or intend. It serves to create cognitive dissonance in the targets, and actually operates to achieve acquiescence. Make no mistake, we all are the targets, and the cognitive dissonance formula has worked wonders in building a base of slavering followers and sycophants for Trump.

  150. All talk and no action. How can he claim independence when his actions have been lock step in support of aiding and abetting the president throughout his various misdeeds over the last 3 years? This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to try and contain the fallout from his recent Roger Stone fiasco. I’ll believe his independence when he actually stand up for justice in a courtroom and not just in front of a camera.

  151. @JamesT I think four prosecutors resigning carries more weight than you think. It's one thing for Barr to be judged by an 'uneducated' populace - it is quite another to be judged by other lawyers of equal stature.

  152. @Rick Morris It is going to take more than four resigning.

  153. @JamesT I am sorry Mr. Barr. You and Trump's lawyers have been arguing for the Imperial Presidency. Trump announced what that means to him. "I can do what I want." You have enabled him to tear down all norms and precedent. You can't complain when he does the same to your department. If you had any honor you would resign. Since you don't resign your self to your role. You are Trump's lapdog, and if you cross him you will get the Trump treatment. Fox news is listening and they will tear you apart when they get their marching orders fro El Jefe.

  154. This is about tweets. The four resignations at DOJ were not about tweets. They were about Barr.

  155. Barr is the one who popularized the “unitary executive” to defend Trump’s actions. Let’s see how he fares, and how long. Can we start a national pool to see how long he lasts in office?

  156. Oh, this will be fun to watch Twitter explode, then to watch Barr backpedal under the withering attacks. 45's staff will try to then "translate" what Barr and 45 say and his base will again be satisfied. I'll believe Barr when I actually see him stand up to 45 in his actions. If he leaves Stone's sentencing in place as it was originally, then I will believe him. My guess is 45 bounces him then.

  157. Too Late Mr. Barr - your comments would have been meaningful if you had been brave enough to stand up to this bully BEFORE the Senate acquittal. But for enabling him all these months, you must bear some of the blame for the rest of his time in office. Period.

  158. Barr has not yet begun to feel the heat from Trump's "Republican Guard". My bet is that before the day is done he will be walking back his comments with more vigor than a Michael Jackson "moon-walk".

  159. Barr made his own job impossible by being a Trump hack instead of doing what was right and honest for our Democracy and the American people. An AG who supports a “ President “ who condones the threatening of witnesses and Judges by one of his convicted criminal gang members is shameful. He should resign but as is Trump’s sociopathic pattern, he will appoint someone even with less scruples or morality.

  160. Barr said been such an untrustworthy figure (e.g., his "summary" of the Mueller report) and such an enabler of Trump's attacks on the rule of law that this statement rings hollow. I think Barr mostly just wishes Trump wouldn't tweet out his demands. Barr would likely prefer just to carry out his marching orders in the dark without letting the American public know what is going on, and how much of a boot-licker he is.

  161. Note to Mr. Barr: don't bother trying to salvage your reputation now; that ship has sailed.

  162. Integrity? Laughing out loud. Barr undermined the prosecutors in the Stone case, his intervention humiliated them. Now he’s whining about Trump’s tweets? The same tweets that triggered his intervention? This is right out of a Kafka novel.

  163. He should follow the prosecutors and resign.

  164. Barr is just backtracking a wee bit. He is still a pawn of Trump and just willing to take a little heat. The same behavior as Sessions The outcome of the sentencing will still fall on the Judge and Trump will still provide a pardon. It's all about optics. It's as if Barr all of a sudden believed in the rule of law. Laughable.

  165. I don't believe a single word this man says. I don't believe he will stand up to Trump and I don't think he cares whether the DOJ or the prosecutors do their job with integrity. From where I sit it seems all that he cares about is power and right now Trump has it and he wants some of it. I don't trust Barr at all.

  166. A friend has told me the proper translation of William Barr's distress "Quit shining that floodlight on me while I'm burying your bodies!"

  167. @ReallyAFrancophile , that's actually pretty good.

  168. Until Mr. Barr earns the benefit of the doubt, I will translate this interview as his way of announcing that he and the president have worked out another way to pass messages.

  169. My thoughts precisely

  170. This is what pushes Mr. Barr over the edge? Not all the other issues he has helped Trump with? Did his rubber stamp of injustice run dry?

  171. Barr: See Don, what we'll do is, I'll follow whatever directions you tweet. Then when the blowback gets high enough, I'll pretend to disagree with you and "throw a brush back pitch." They'll think we're at loggerheads and forget we're in cahoots.

  172. Does anybody believe Barr? C'mon! He appointed Tim Shea in DC, then the DOJ did a major flip in its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, and then the four career prosecutors in the Stone case withdrew. One of them resigned. The change in position came just hours after Trump tweeted about it. Barr is the same guy who sat on the Mueller report and said that it exonerated Trump. Shame on anybody who believes him.

  173. If Barr was truly independent from trump and faithful to facts, he would make it clear that the Mueller report did not exonerate trump.

  174. I don't believe Barr he's just trying to save face on the fact that the president influenced his decision. I do find it comical that it took him a couple of days to respond with his rebuke.

  175. More optics so the GOP can have the slightest shred to a claim that they are not fully authoritarian- same playbook as Susan Collins almost maybe sorta thinking about doing the right thing before she falls in line w/ lockstep GOP orders.

  176. How is that statement even possible, let alone plausible? I find it very hard to do my job as an American citizen. But then again...mercy mercy me, things ain’t what they used to be. Everybody... read Unmaking the Presidency. And pray.

  177. As more and more leading Americans are publicly calling for individuals within the Justice Department to stand up, say enough is enough, and resign, does this mean that Barr may be getting the message that he has gone too far? That he is now ready to change his ways and do the right thing for the country? Or does it simply mean he's angry because people are pushing back at his leadership. And so he is pushing back even harder. I do not get the impression (yet) that Barr intends to stand up, say enough is enough, and resign. But for the future of America, I will watch this space just in case.

  178. Since he finds it impossible to do his job, he should follow the example set by his subordinates and resign.

  179. This smells fishy. Barr has proved time and time again that he supports Trumps actions regardless of its legality and simply acted as a yes man, explaining away Trumps actions regardless of its sincerity or basis in reality. Suddenly he stands up to Trump? I think that, like the recent Republican votes on curtailing the presidents war powers, is purely for show. He'll act outraged now and I suspect in the next day or two will have reconciled like it never happened.

  180. Counting down until Trump attacks Barr in a few tweets, Barr walks back his comments to the point of meaninglessness, and they can both get back to the numerous cover-ups they have to manage ahead of the election. Barr is likely just trying to convince half of DOJ prosecutors not to walk out by pretending to care.

  181. He can do the honorable thing and resign. It won't change the President's behavior, but it will send a message to everyone else--DOJ staff, elected officials, other agency heads, voters. But he won't. He is complicit. He is appeasing a tyrant. There is only a negative legacy for retirement and grandchildren. I'm sure they'll be proud. Not.

  182. Ah, from somewhere emerges a ray of light. If Trump fires Barr, the Senate may have been offered yet another opportunity to prevent the dissolution of the country. It can put it's foot down and demand a more independent appointee. It can refuse to condone any "acting" appointments. If all of us call our representatives and demand that Senate censure Barr in some way, it will add to the pressure for some reform. Rosa Parks and MLK did not wait to sign petitions. Let's stop the hand-wringing and start pulling all the levers we can, to save America from itself, if necessary.

  183. I hope that Attorney General Barr's remarks are sincere. I hope this "extraordinary rebuke" has teeth. I fear, however, that Mr. Barr's words are little more than reality TV posturing, a way to manage popular outrage without addressing the underlying problem: a President who puts his personal interests and relationships before those of the country he was elected to represent.

  184. @Stephen Tyler If Barr had not recommended a lower sentence for Stone I would tend to believe Barr's protestations. But given that interference, I find it difficult to believe Barr.

  185. I speak as a former social studies teacher (back in the dark ages), and a fifteen-year school board member, who has practiced law in Washington DC and Minnesota since 1975. The President's effort to turn our system of justice into a political tool deeply undermines the message that should be sent to young people in school. We start of in the United States with a widespread suspicion amongst young people that our justice system is fixed and works differently for the connected, the powerful, and the wealthy. The President's conduct, his statements, his bullying on behalf of convicted lawbreakers does deep damage to respect for our system of justice. The Senators and Congresspersons who seem to justify that conduct only deepen the worst suspicions. Stone's sentence is a minor issue compared to this episode which sends a message to young people that Justice can be bent and broken for friends of the powerful, and that message will undermine our justice system for decade to come. We need elected officials to stand up for a justice system that is fair and not susceptible to political bullying.

  186. I do hope Barr's comments were not just window dressing trying to present an image of a truly independent AG ready to do his job. Trump's response if Barr is, at least in this case, sincere -- which requires that he support the original sentencing recommendations -- will be an eruption that will be astounding, even for him. Stay tuned.

  187. For Roger Stone, the prosecutors issued a reasonable sentence made by the Probation Office under the Sentencing Guidelines. Has Mr. William P. Barr suddenly seen the abyss under his feet ? It seems such a language should assure his firing.

  188. Barr's speaking up made me happy like seeing the first bud of a flower in spring. I know it's trivial. I'm not hoping for anything to come of it. It's just that a flicker of light from his long-embalmed soul was the last thing I was expecting.

  189. If I read this correctly William Barr has more lawyer in him than I thought possible. "Extraordinary" is a good word to describe this change in heart, but "welcome" is a belated feeling. But recusal of himself in all matters Trump is required before I applaud. Incidentally, as an Officer of the Court, he is subject to the immediate personal jurisdiction of Judge Jackson at her whim and at her command to explain this imprudent legal exercise. She should demand his presence and a satisfactory explanation before she sends Stone up the river. And for 7-9 in my opinion.

  190. @Attorney Lance Weil It is just lip service. He is putting up a smokescreen to cloud the fact he is doing Trump's bidding anyway.

  191. Barr wants to work for Trump in the dark. Trump's tweets make that much more difficult

  192. If he can't do his job without being influenced...by anyone...then he is unfit for his job and should resign.

  193. "Not be bullied"? More like, "Mr. President, stop saying (tweeting) out loud what you and I agreed to do in private!"

  194. impossible? five resignations of the prosecutorial staff handling the roger stone sentencing make barr and his office appear corrupt. this is a PR gambit and bears no relationship to the facts.

  195. Then QUIT. TESTIFY. Hold a press conference. Go do an interview on national TV.

  196. Does anyone other than those afflicted with crippling credulity believe for a moment that Barr's statement wasn't cleared with the White House? Or that William Barr, the most supine Attorney General in our nation's history, would dare risk Trump's wrath? If Trump does not react with his usual hysterical rantings in the face of Barr's ostensible "insubordination", then this is nothing more than a clumsily orchestrated pas de deus designed to shore up Barr's collapsing reputation and credibility.

  197. Too late to show some character, the damage done is irrevocable. Resign if you want to make a statement, athough it would be more valuable if Trump, enraged, fired you. That would be dramatic proof we are in an autocracy and heading for a dictatorship, if we're not there already.

  198. This is what he signed up for right? If poor Bill Barr is feeling intimidated , I have absolutely zero sympathy for him. I have a couple suggestions though 1. Resign Oh I guess that is all I could think of.

  199. My guess is that career professionals threatened to do something that Barr is afraid of. So, suddenly, after being the President's toady, he has decided to act, at least in this interview, as if he's an independent thinker. There's more here than Barr's supposed integrity. Don't forget his crooked letter about Mueller's findings.

  200. Either this was orchestrated—an advising attorney told Trump and Barr they were in legal or impeachment jeopardy and needed to say this—or Barr himself realized he needed to save himself. Don’t be fooled, folks, Barr hasn’t developed a conscience, or acquired some legal ethics, or decided to obey the Constitution. Please, any Constitutional lawyer out there, weigh in on this.

  201. Talk is cheap. Let's see a substantive move to resist Trump's interference before anyone starts to think Barr has suddenly found his misplaced integrity. I'm looking at you, Susan Collins.

  202. It means nothing if he continues to do the bidding of the president's twitter. He needs to fortify and do what needs to be done for the good of the country

  203. Wild guess - We know Barr has no principles but I'll lay good money down to bet that many, many prosecutors threatened him with en masse resignations if he didn't show some backbone and minimal understanding of US law and constitution. Would have left him as head of an empty department.

  204. @B. Mused I don't think career USA's would resign and leave an empty department. I prefer to think that the career USA's read him the law and made him realize his own vulnerability.

  205. @Norma I said it was a wild guess. But whatever happens he knows Trump's interference will destroy his credibility and the depot. He is trying to maintain an appearance of legality and integrity - but it is far too late for that

  206. I have wondered for a long time about the motivations of William Barr. A respected jurist, a public servant with a reputation to protect and a name to keep from becoming synonymous with the servile loyalty Mr. Trump expects from his appointees, what was he to gain in betraying his promises and his oath of office except becoming the object of calls for impeachment? I still cannot respect him (not after the job he did on the Mueller report, and many other egregious things). He may have come to the point where he does not want to go down in the annals (history is too big a word for these petty men) as the man who destroyed the Justice Department entirely. His behavior in the past two days, before the ABC interview. did not look good but Mr. Trump never knows when to stop talking or tweeting.