William Barr Says He Will Not ‘Be Bullied’ in Response to Trump’s Attacks


Mr. Trump also accused the prosecutors of engaging in an “illegal” investigation of Mr. Stone. He incorrectly accused Judge Jackson, who presided over multiple cases from the special counsel inquiry, of placing his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in solitary confinement.

The chief judge of the Federal District Court in Washington, Beryl A. Howell, issued a rare public response to the president’s attacks on Thursday, saying that “public criticism or pressure is not a factor” when judges make sentencing decisions.

Mr. Trump also attacked Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director and special counsel, putting Mr. Barr in an especially awkward position. “Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!” the president wrote on Twitter this week, accusing him of a felony, which, if true, the attorney general would presumably be obliged to prosecute.

Mr. Trump did not explain at the time what he meant, but on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show on Thursday, he said he was referring to Mr. Mueller’s denial during congressional testimony that he had applied to replace James B. Comey as F.B.I. director before becoming special counsel.

“He wanted to be the director again,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Rivera. “And I told him, basically, ‘You’ve had enough time.’ And then within a very short period of time, he was appointed special prosecutor.”

Mr. Trump has made this claim before without offering evidence for it. Mr. Mueller has said he agreed to see Mr. Trump during his search for a new F.B.I. director as a courtesy to offer advice, not to seek the job, a recollection confirmed by Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist.

Mr. Trump renewed his complaints on Thursday, claiming in a tweet that the Stone jury forewoman had “significant bias,” his first vocal assault on a juror. He was responding to a Fox News report that the forewoman was an anti-Trump Democratic activist.



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