After President Donald Trump unleashed a series of public complaints about the federal judge presiding over Roger Stone’s criminal trial, Attorney General William Barr stated that Trump’s tweets about criminal cases under the Justice Department’s purview made it “impossible” for him to do his job. “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said. Less than two weeks later, the president stepped up his public critique of Judge Amy Berman Jackson with another procession of tweets that left legal observers musing about the attorney general’s whereabouts in general (Barr met with Senate Republicans on Tuesday; they reportedly patted him on the back).
During Tuesday’s hearing about whether Stone is entitled to a new trial because one of the jurors who found him guilty earlier this month had been critical of the president on social media, Jackson directly rebuked conservative media figures for harassing and intimidating the juror. The judge called this “antithetical to our entire system of justice.”
Soon after, Trump took to Twitter for another anti-Jackson diatribe.
“There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case. Look at her background. She never revealed her hatred of ‘Trump’ and Stone,” he wrote. “She was totally biased, as is the judge. Roger wasn’t even working on my campaign. Miscarriage of justice. Sad to watch!”
He also posted an opinion piece from Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, which said that Jackson’s “bias may have jeopardized [the] entire trial.” Trump called it all a “total miscarriage of justice.”
The deafening silence from the Justice Department left many wondering what, if anything, Barr would do since the president has clearly ignored his request to stop tweeting about DOJ’s criminal cases and the judges presiding over them.
“I dunno, I’m starting to think that maybe Bill Barr’s bold stand against the president might have just been a bunch of nonsense posturing and that now the president is calling his bluff he won’t actually quit…” CNN national security and legal analyst Susan Hennessey remarked.
Vermont Law School professor Jennifer Taub and New York City attorney David Lurie took more sarcastic approaches to calling out the attorney general.
Political and Supreme Court reporters also weighed in on the issue, including the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, CNN’s Ariane de Vogue, and Reuters’s Lawrence Hurley.
[image via ABC News screenshot]
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