Attorney General William Barr has reportedly said privately that he is considering resigning over President Trump’s continued tweeting about Justice Department cases, three administration officials familiar with Barr’s thinking told the Washington Post.
“He has his limits,” one person familiar with the situation told the Washington Post.
Rumors swirled about Barr’s frustration after Trump refused to heed the attorney general’s warning about the president’s public commentary on sensitive investigations.
“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said, adding that Trump’s tweeting makes 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.”
However, the president appeared to ignore Barr’s complaints on Tuesday, when he again lashed out on Twitter about former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which led to the arrest of his longtime associate, Roger Stone.
“Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out,” Trump tweeted.
“If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place,” he added. “BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL. WITCH HUNT!”
CNN and USA Today confirmed the Post’s reporting but Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a tweet late Tuesday that the attorney general “has no plans to resign.”
Barr received flack last week for intervening in the case against Stone, with critics suggesting he was influenced by the White House to show Stone unwarranted leniency. After the president griped on Twitter that the prosecutors’ seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation for Stone was “horrible and very unfair,” his Justice Department submitted a revised filing stating that the lengthy sentence “could be considered excessive and unwarranted.”
Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. All four of the prosecutors who recommended Stone’s seven-to-nine-year sentence either resigned or quit the case after the DOJ intervened.
Afterwards, more than 2,000 former DOJ employees signed a letter urging Barr to resign over the department’s handling of the Stone case.
Trump agreed Tuesday with Barr’s claim that his tweeting about ongoing DOJ cases makes the job of the attorney general more difficult.
“I do make his job harder. I do agree with that. I think that’s true,” Trump said.