In a rare show of anything but acquiescence to the White House, Attorney General Barr on Thursday rebuked the president, stating in an interview that Trump’s constant deluge of tweets was making the AG’s job harder than it needed to be. However, could this simply be an attempt by Barr to change the optics of his fealty to the president?
As the political water boils in DC, Barr has found himself in the crossfire of a major scandal. Following the announcement that Trump confidante Stone could face nine years in prison for various crimes, including lying to Congress, Trump complained on Twitter that this was unfair.
Then, the Justice Department swooped in, reversing the sentence recommendation. In response to this stunning event, the four Justice Department prosecutors overseeing the Stone case resigned in protest.
Barr’s Public Twitter Spat Could be Attempt to Ease Tension
Since the controversial Stone sentencing on Monday, many are calling for investigations and even an impeachment of both Barr and Trump.
Barr has long been a trusted ally to the president. Publicly rebuking Trump is surprising, coming from him.
Other officials who have publicly slammed the president, like Jeff Sessions, often lose their jobs. Many former Cabinet members waited until they no longer worked for Trump to speak the truth about him. A prime example is John Kelly.
Barr Acting in Bad Faith?
As such, many onlookers think Barr’s rebuke of Trump is fake. Since he became AG, Barr has done exactly what the White House wanted.
When the Mueller report was released, Barr said the document “exonerated” the president, but it didn’t. Likewise, during Stone’s sentencing, the Justice Department was quick to bend to Trump’s whims.
Whether this is the start of a true revolt by the formerly docile AG or just another attempt to change the political headwinds, only time will tell.