WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr has told people close to him he’s considering quitting his post after President Donald Trump wouldn’t heed his warning to stop tweeting about Justice Department cases.
That's according to an administration official who spoke Tuesday to The Associated Press. The revelation comes days after Barr took a public swipe at the president, saying in a television interview that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases and staffers make it “impossible” for him to do his job.
The next day, Trump ignored Barr’s request and insisted that he has the “legal right” to intervene in criminal cases and sidestep the Justice Department’s historical independence.
Barr has agreed to go before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31 to respond to allegations that the Department of Justice is making decisions that are politically influenced.
The House Judiciary Committee wants to question Barr on three incidents from this week that it found questionable.
Trump ally Roger Stone was convicted on charges of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing a House investigation. On Monday, the prosecution asked the judge for a 7-9 year sentence of Stone. But following tweets from the president saying the DOJ's recommended sentence was too harsh, Barr overruled the prosecutors, stating that the sentencing guidelines prosecutors used were too harsh.
"This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
All four DOJ prosecutors involved in the case stepped away from the case on Tuesday.
Last Wednesday, Trump thanked Barr for his decision to step in on the Stone case.
“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!”
A second incident the committee is investigating is on Barr stating publicly that he has opened a "channel" for President Donald Trump's attorney Rudolph Giuliani to deliver information to the DOJ involving presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Giuliani has openly said that he is looking for information from the Ukrainian government on whether the former vice president and his son conducted any wrongdoing when Joe Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor.
The third is the decision to pull the nomination of Jessie Liu, who is a U.S. Attorney who originally was nominated for a post in the Treasury Department. Liu oversaw the office that tried the prosecutions of several Trump allies, including Stone and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The Judiciary Committee is chaired by Democrat Jerry Nadler, who was on the team that managed Trump's impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.