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Graham, McConnell Back AG Barr Following Criticism of Trump Tweets

Sen. Lindsey Graham attends an event celebrating the anniversary of the White House’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative at the State Department in Washington, D.C., February 12, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Thursday expressed “complete confidence” in Attorney General William Barr following an interview in which Barr complained that President Trump’s tweets made it difficult for him to do his job.

“President Trump, in selecting Bill Barr to be Attorney General, has done a great service to the people in the Department of Justice and our nation as a whole,” Graham said in a statement. “He is the right man at the right time to reform the Department and stand up for the Rule of Law. Attorney General Barr has my complete confidence.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) also backed the attorney general during an interview on Fox News Thursday evening.

“If the attorney general says [Trump’s tweets are] getting in the way of him doing his job, maybe the president should listen to the attorney general,” McConnell said.

Barr drew criticism from Democrats when he intervened to override career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for political operative and Trump ally Roger Stone, following Trump’s complaints on Twitter that the recommendation of between seven and nine years in jail was too harsh. In an interview with ABC on Thursday, Barr said he had planned to change the sentencing recommendation before Trump’s tweets, and that the president “had never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”

All four prosecutors involved in the original sentencing recommendation resigned from the DOJ on Tuesday, following news that it would be overruled.

A Wednesday letter from the House Judiciary Committee confirmed that Barr is set to testify before the Committee on March 31 regarding the Stone sentencing, the relationship between President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and other issues.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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