Trump Claims He Has ‘the Legal Right’ to Order Attorney General to Intervene in Criminal Cases
President Donald Trump has claimed that he has the right to order Attorney General William Barr to interfere in criminal cases. Trump made the claim on Twitter following days of discussion surrounding the sentencing of Roger Stone.
“The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” A.G. Barr This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!” Trump wrote.
“The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” A.G. Barr This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2020
Trump has publicly criticized the decision to seek 7 to 9 years for Stone, who was convicted of misleading Congress. Attorney General William Barr has stepped in and the prosecutors involved in the case have resigned from it, though the judge may decide to sentence Stone along the original guidelines.
Barr said in an interview that Trump’s tweets on the issue was making his job more difficult, which some have interpreted as Trump exposing that Barr is trying to shield the President’s allies. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made similar comments about his tweets.
A president does not have the right to interfere in criminal proceedings. The Department of Justice has traditionally guarded its’ independence and attempts by the executive branch to interfere in the decisions of prosecutors or the courts have been strongly resisted.