GOP Senator John Kennedy over the weekend criticized President Trump’s decision to tweet about the Justice Department’s case against his longtime associate Roger Stone, suggesting that the president should refrain from commenting on sensitive investigations even if he is allowed to do so.
“Does the president have a right to tweet about a case? Of course. Just because you can sing, though, doesn’t mean you should sing,” Kennedy said Sunday on CBS.
“You can have a voice like Mick Jagger, but you wouldn’t want to start belting out ‘Honky Tonk Women’ in church,” the Louisiana Republican quipped. “This is a case where tweeting less would not cause brain damage.”
After Trump complained last week on Twitter that the prosecutors’ seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation for Stone constituted a “horrible and very unfair situation,” his Justice Department submitted a revised filing stating that the prosecutors’ recommended 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 weighed in.
The White House has denied Trump pressured the Justice Department to reduce Stone’s sentence.
Afterwards, Trump congratulated Attorney General William Barr for “taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.”
Barr expressed frustration, however, at the president’s public commentary on sensitive investigations, saying 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.”
Stone “is pretty good at bad decisions,” Kennedy said, but he added that Trump’s remarks put Barr in “an awkward spot,” and Barr did not compromise his integrity by intervening in the case.