Democrats and outside groups attacked Barr last week after the Justice Department revised a sentencing recommendation for Stone, after a tweet from Trump declaring that the initial sentencing recommendation of seven-to-nine years was “horrible and very unfair.” The Justice Department maintains that the agency planned to adjust Stone’s sentencing recommendation before Trump’s tweet. The new recommendation, however, prompted the four career prosecutors assigned to the case to withdraw from the case.
More than 2,000 DOJ alumni have called on Barr to resign, according to the group Protect Democracy, which organized a letter.
In an interview with ABC News, Barr defended the integrity of the Justice Department but chastised the president for his tweets — an unusual move for a sitting Cabinet official.
“I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me,” Barr said.
Since Barr’s comments, Trump has continued to defend his Twitter use but conceded Tuesday that he does make Barr’s job harder. But the president also described himself as the “chief law enforcement officer of the country” and asserted he is “allowed to be totally involved” in DOJ issues.