Barr denies pattern of upholding Trump’s interests, blames “media narrative”

TheHill reports Attorney General William Barr dismissed claims that the Justice Department was pandering to the interests of President Trump after Barr fired Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), over the weekend.

NPR’s Steve Inskeep asked the attorney general in an interview if some of Barr’s recent decisions, including the dismissal of the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn the firing of Berman and reducing the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, were examples of President Trump working through Barr.

Barr replied that “this wasn’t a case of the president acting.”

“All cases in the Department of Justice are subject to the supervision of the attorney general,” he said. “In fact, all the powers carried out by the department are vested in the attorney general and it’s appropriate for the attorney general to exercise supervisory authority over cases.”

The Justice Department’s decision to drop the charges against Flynn, who had already agreed to a plea deal, drew widespread outcry.

Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in their investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 general election, then sought to withdraw the plea.

Berman over the weekend initially refused to resign, forcing Barr to fire him.