On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a joint statement defending Attorney General William Barr as a “man of the highest character and unquestionable integrity” as Barr faces growing calls to resign over his interference in the sentencing of Trump confidant Roger Stone.
In their statement, the Republicans claimed that “outside groups” are responsible for demands that Barr step down and said the attorney general “has shown that he is committed without qualification to securing equal justice under law for all Americans.”
“The nation is fortunate that President Trump chose such a strong and selfless public servant to lead the Department of Justice,” the GOP leaders said. “We expect that, as always, efforts to intimidate the attorney general will fall woefully short.”
The statement, which one commentator slammed as “pathetic,” comes days after more than 2,000 former Justice Department officials signed an open letter urging Barr to resign over his decision to overrule career federal prosecutors and reduce the recommended prison sentence for Stone, who was convicted last November of witness tampering and lying to Congress.
Critics said the GOP leaders’ defense of the attorney general shows the Republican Party is fully on board with Trump and Barr’s abuse of the powers of the Justice Department for political purposes:
Republican Party leadership continues to endorse Trump and Barr's unprecedented authoritarian corrosion of the rule of law. https://t.co/qIQtRZIhjx
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) February 18, 2020