A top U.S. Senator says Attorney General Bill Barr “has no choice” but to resign after his “brazen assault on the independence and integrity of the Justice Department.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who serves on the Judiciary Committee, is blasting Barr after the DOJ intervened in the case of Roger Stone, President Donald Trump’s confidant and former campaign advisor. President Trump on Wednesday thanked Barr publicly for “taking charge” and reducing the DOJ’s sentencing recommendation in Stone’s case.
Blumenthal, who served as a U.S. Attorney and as the Attorney General of Connecticut, calls Barr’s actions in supporting Trump’s personal agenda “unprecedented.” He says Barr has become Trump’s “henchman” and a “political operative.”
The Connecticut Democrat says he is also asking for Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham to call Barr to testify, and has asked the Justice Dept. Inspector General to investigate.
Just before 2 AM on Tuesday President Trump launched an angry tweet blasting the DOJ for telling a federal judge Roger Stone should serve 7 to 9 years for witness tampering, including threatened a witness, and lying to Congress. The requested sentence is within federal guidelines.
The DOJ responded within hours, signaling it would overrule the sentencing recommendation of its own prosecutors. Those four attorneys, one by one on Tuesday afternoon, quit.
Also on Tuesday announced he has the “absolute right” to direct the Dept. of Justice in who and how it prosecutes, which is widely considered to be false.
Watch Sen. Blumenthal on MSNBC:
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Local DC Reporter: ‘Major Movement of Military Hardware and Personnel’ Into Downtown Washington
A local Washington, D.C. reporter posted video of a huge military vehicle emblazoned with the word “flammable” on its side, which he says is driving on the streets of the nation’s capital. This comes just one day after President Donald Trump told the nation’s governors to “dominate” the streets and increase the presence of the National Guard and other law enforcement agencies.
“Seeing a major movement of military hardware and personnel on the streets of downtown DC today as #GeorgeFloyd protests continue,” Tom Fitzgerald of Fox affiliate Fox5 reported via Twitter.
— Tom Fitzgerald (@FitzFox5DC) June 2, 2020
Fitzgerald says the military vehicles now have “a much wider footprint” than yesterday.
Military personnel and Humvees now blocking off K Street at 19th. Yesterday we primarily saw this equipment down by The White House. Today is a much wider footprint by Federal Law Enforcement and the National Guard responding time the #GeorgeFloyd protests. @Fox5DC pic.twitter.com/r1lCGyT32k
— Tom Fitzgerald (@FitzFox5DC) June 2, 2020
Several social media users u=identified the truck as a tanker used to carry airplane/aviation fuel.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is opposed to the militarization of her city.
.@MayorBowser: "We don't think that the active duty military should be used on American streets against Americans. It's an inappropriate use of our military. We have police in Washington, DC. We have federal police in Washington, DC, to focus on the federal properties."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) June 2, 2020
Trump has far more control over Washington, D.C. than the states because it has no governor.
‘Unhinged’ Trump Promises to ‘Activate’ Attorney General Barr – Says Police ‘Are Allowed to Fight Back’
President Donald Trump promised the nation’s governors Monday that he will “activate” Bill Barr in response to the protests nationwide over the police killing of George Floyd over the past week. The President berated the governors and said police are “allowed to fight back.”
On the call, Trump references Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr. “We will activate Bill Barr and activate him very strongly,” Trump says.
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) June 1, 2020
One listener on the video conference call said the President sounded “unhinged.” Reports from multiple outlets say Trump told governors they risk looking “weak” if they do not “dominate” the protestors – a word he used repeatedly – and called on state officials to “track” them.
“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” CBS News political correspondent Ed O’Keefe reports Trump told the governors.
“When they have bricks — you know they come armed with bricks,” Trump said on the call, according to CBS News. “And they have bricks and rocks, big rocks, and they have other big things, and they throw them. You know, you’re allowed to fight back, folks. You don’t have to have a brick hit you in the face, and you don’t do anything about it. You are allowed to fight back.”
“You’re making a mistake because you’re making yourselves look like fools. And some have done a great job. But a lot of you, it’s not – it’s not a great day for our country,” Trump reportedly also said.
“You know when other countries watch this, they’re watching this, the next day wow, they’re really a push over. And we can’t be a push over. And we have all the resources – it’s not like we don’t have the resources. So, I don’t know what you’re doing,” he added.
The president said that the violence “is coming from the radical left — you know, it everybody knows it — but it’s also looters, and it’s people that figure they can get free stuff by running into stores and running out with television sets. I saw it — a kid has a lot of stuff, he puts it in the back of a brand new car and drives off. You have every one of these guys on tape. Why aren’t you prosecuting them? Now, the harder you are, the tougher you are, the less likely you’re going to be hit.”
Trump also promised the governors, “We’re going to clamp down very, very strong,” apparently about the Washington, D.C. area.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti responded, calling it “telling that Trump views Barr as a tool that he can ‘activate’ and use.”
“Barr is supposed to be our attorney, representing the United States, not pushing Trump’s political agenda,” he added.
Press Secretary Claims Trump Tweet ‘Not Witness Intimidation’ Because It’s ‘Not a Trial’ – But President Says It Is
Witness intimidation and witness tampering can be done whether or not there is a “trial” – Grisham wrong on all counts.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham says President Donald Trump did not engage in witness intimidation Friday morning when he, in real time, posted tweets attacking his former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich, during her testimony before a House impeachment inquiry hearing. Trump is being accused by Democrats and Republicans alike of witness intimidation or witness tampering, with even Fox News anchors saying Trump’s tweets constitute an additional article of impeachment.
“The tweet was not witness intimidation, it was simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to,” Grisham said in a statement given to Fox News. “This is not a trial, it is a partisan political process – or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the President.”
(Grisham is wrong on all counts. Impeachment is embedded in the U.S. Constitution.)
President Donald Trump has claimed he is on “trial” and repeatedly – eight times, at least – complained he is not being afforded due process. A few examples:
It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS. It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me. This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2019
….This is a phony showtrial. There is zero due process, none. It is yet another fraudulent hoax conspiracy theory. It is another Witch Hunt. This is what the Socialist Doemocrat Party has become. There’s not one thing the Democrats have done in the past 3 years except try…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2019
Schiff is giving Republicans NO WITNESSES, NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS! It is a totally one sided Witch Hunt. This can’t be making the Democrats look good. Such a farce!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2019
Regardless, witness intimidation and witness tampering can be done whether or not there is a trial, so Grisham is wrong on all counts.
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