Trump maintains online criticism of Stone case, despite AG Barr's plea to stop

Trump maintains online criticism of Stone case, despite AG Barr's plea to stop

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In one tweet, the president exclaimed he hasn't ruled out legal action.

February 18, 2020, 5:04 PM

7 min read

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning, further criticizing the judge overseeing the Roger Stone case, despite Attorney General William Barr's plea that the president refrain from tweeting about ongoing Justice Department matters.

In his daily twitter rant, he also complained about the results of the Robert Mueller investigation, which concluded last summer.

In a series of three tweets to his 72.6 million followers, the president quoted comments from Fox News legal contributor Andrew Napolitano -- who has publicly pressed the judge, Amy Berman Jackson, to accept Stone's request for a new trial.

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House in Washington, on Feb. 16, 2020.

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House in Washington, on Feb. 16, 2020.AFP via Getty Images, FILE

"Judge Jackson now has a request for a new trial based on the unambiguous & self outed bias of the foreperson of the jury, whose [sic] also a lawyer, by the way. ‘Madam foreperson, your [sic] a lawyer, you have a duty, an affirmative obligation, to reveal to us when we selected you the ... existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him," Trump tweeted.

He added, "Don’t you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.’ Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country...would order a new trial, I’m not so sure about Judge Jackson, I don’t know." @Judgenap (Andrew Napolitano) @foxandfriends."

A DOJ official said Barr personally supported the department lawyers’ motion that objected to Stone’s team calling for a new trial.

Barr personally intervened in the case last week to overrule line prosecutors who had recommended Stone be sentenced to 7-9 years in prison, just hours after Trump tweeted that the original recommendation was a "miscarriage of justice."

In an exclusive interview with ABC News last week, hey admitted that the president's public comments about the department's work make his job "impossible."

"I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases," Barr told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. "I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me."

He also insisted in the interview that he made his decision to revise the sentencing request for Stone independent of the president's tweet.

Attorney General William Barr speaks to ABC News' Pierre Thomas during an interview on Feb. 13, 2020.

Attorney General William Barr speaks to ABC News' Pierre Thomas during an interview on Feb. 13, 2020.Luke Barr/ABC News

The presidential tweets come ahead of a hearing in the case today, two days before Stone is expected to be sentenced by Jackson.

A DOJ spokesperson declined to comment when asked by ABC News about the president’s tweets Tuesday morning.

After the department rejected a sentencing recommendation for Stone, four prosecutors withdrew from the case last week, including two individuals who were veterans of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, departs the U.S. District Court following the second day of his criminal trial in Washington, Nov. 6, 2019.

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, departs the U.S. District Court following the second day of his criminal trial in Washington, Nov. 6, 2019.Tom Brenner/Reuters, FILE

Trump seemed to falsely imply that all four prosecutors worked on the Mueller probe, which he characterized as a "fraudulent investigation," while threatening to sue "everyone all over the place."

In a final tweet, the president exclaimed that he has not ruled out legal action.

"BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL," he tweeted. "WITCH HUNT!"

ABC News' Alex Mallin and Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report

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