WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is ignoring his attorney general’s public request to stop tweeting about the Justice Department.
Trump says he has the legal right to ask the agency to intervene in a criminal case, but he’s so far “chosen not to.”
Trump’s Friday morning tweet came just hours after Attorney General William Barr said in a striking interview with ABC News that the president’s tweets were making it “impossible” to do his job, especially following the department’s bungled handling of the sentencing recommendation for Trump ally and confidant Roger Stone.
Trump has the right to compel the Justice Department to investigate as an executive branch agency. But historically, it has functioned as an independent agency.
House Democrats frustrated over the Senate’s acquittal of Trump are pushing their oversight efforts toward the Justice Department.
Top Democrats plan to investigate what they call Barr’s efforts to politicize federal law enforcement. He overruled prosecutors who recommended Stone be given 7 to 9 years in prison on his conviction for lying to Congress and other charges.
Barr says the decision to undo the sentencing recommendation was his alone and says the president did not ask him to intervene.
Democrats say the move appears politically motivated.
Trump has criticized the prosecution of Stone, a longtime confidant, and praised Barr for getting involved.
A person familiar with the case told the Associated Press Friday that the Justice Department is now reviewing the handling of the federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as well.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia probe.
The official told AP the U.S. attorney in St. Louis, Jeff Jensen, is working with Brandon Van Grack, a member of Robert Mueller’s team.
Federal prosecutors have declined to charge former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, closing an investigation into whether he lied to federal officials about his involvement in a news media disclosure. That’s according to a statement from McCabe’s legal team on Friday.
The decision resolves a criminal investigation that spanned more than a year and began with a referral from the Justice Department’s inspector general, which said McCabe repeatedly lied about having authorized a subordinate to share information with a newspaper reporter for a 2016 article about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
Prosecutors told McCabe’s lawyers they decided “not to pursue criminal charges" against him after careful consideration.