Top House and Senate Republicans issued a rare joint statement on Tuesday, Feb. 18, defending Attorney General William Barr who has faced scrutiny from Democrats and the media over his decision involving former Trump aide Roger Stone.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) praised Barr as a “man of the highest character and unquestionable integrity” and expected that efforts to intimidate him “will fall woefully short.”
“Suggestions from outside groups that the attorney general has fallen short of the responsibilities of his office are unfounded. The attorney general has shown that he is committed without qualification to securing equal justice under law for all Americans,” they wrote.
The Republican leaders also noted that Barr had been confirmed by the Senate “four times to positions of the utmost public trust” throughout his career.
Barr has been under fire over the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to revisit Stone’s sentencing, which led to the prosecutors who originally handled the Stone’s case to withdraw from their posts and Democrats to accuse President Trump and Barr of interfering in the process.
Barr told ABC News that he had already discussed with staff the “excessive” sentencing recommendation and had planned to intervene before President Trump’s tweet about his displeasure with the original recommendation—with which Barr admitted that made “it impossible” for him to do his job.
President Trump also voiced his defense of Barr, saying that he has “total confidence” in the attorney general.
“I do make his job harder. I do agree on that. … We have a great attorney general and he’s working very hard,” he added, reported Fox News.
Barr agreed to answer questions on a variety of matters in a March 31 appearance before the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee.
Amid a tumultuous week at the DOJ, Barr has tapped a growing number of federal prosecutors across the country to review the DOJ’s case, including the criminal case of President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn who faced a false statements charge. He also confirmed that the DOJ is considering emerging allegations tied to Ukraine.
As for Stone’s case, a federal judge on Tuesday said Stone’s sentencing will move forward at its originally scheduled time despite a new effort from Stone’s legal team to get a new trial.