Attorney General Bill Barr On Roger Stone Case | Morning Joe | MSNBC

published on August 3, 2020

Let's bring into the conversation now nbc news correspondent julia ainslie she covers the justice department for us julia good morning i want to get your take on another exchange yesterday when congressman eric swalwell

Asked attorney general barr why the president is not being investigated for commuting the sentence of roger stone you would agree that it's a federal crime to lie under oath is that right

Yes it's a crime for you it's a crime for me and it's certainly a crime for the president of the united states is that right yes so if donald trump lied to the mueller investigators

Which you agree would be a crime then roger stone was in a position to expose donald trump's lies are you familiar with the december 3rd 2018 tweet where donald trump said roger stone had

Shown guts by not testifying against him no i'm not familiar with that you don't read the president's tweets no well there's a lot of evidence in the president's treats mr attorney general i

Think you should start reading them because he said mr stones showed guts but on july 10 of this year roger stone declared to a reporter i had 29 or 30 conversations with trump

During the campaign period trump knows i was under enormous pressure to turn on him it would have eased my situation considerably but i didn't the prosecutors wanted me to play

Judas i refused are you familiar with that stone statement actually i'm not so how can you sit here and tell us why should i investigate the president

Of the united states if you're not even aware of the facts concerning the president using the pardon or commutation power to swap the silence of a witness because we we require you know a

Reliable predicate before we open a criminal investigation and i just gave you something i i don't consider it i consider it a very rube goldberg theory that you have well it sounds like

You're hearing this and by the way there's going to be a a lot more people under investigation so julia there's a lot to comb through there with roger stone and also michael flynn the charges being dropped after he

Pleaded guilty to them um attorney general barr has said recently that he doesn't necessarily agree with the commutation of roger stone's sentence but of course the justice department did step in to

Reduce his sentence what did you take away from that exchange well over and over again yesterday willie we saw the attorney general defend decisions that he made saying

That this can be done he kept going back to roger stone's age as if that was a big reason to try to keep his prison sentence reduced but he distanced himself from being a trump loyalist i think the thing that wasn't

Addressed and either it's because the questioning wasn't there or barr himself was just good at walking around this is the perception of the attorney general when you add up all of these incidents and

You add up how he did the summary of the muller report a month before we were able to see the redacted version when you add up what he's done on the michael flynn case

Pulling out of the prosecution and you add up his very um his hand and all of this his overreach you would say to reach into things like the stone case how does that how is that perceived even

If he can separate himself from the president and i think what we saw over and over again was his defense of the presidency william barr is someone who in his speech willie i was

Reminded of this yesterday he said that the revolutionary war was against parliament not the monarchy he said that last year in a speech in notre dame that is the way this attorney general

Views the presidency and this is a president who he has defended over and over again and so when he talks about trying to ignore the president's tweets he's trying to set himself up as someone

Who is following the rule of law and not being a loyalist but he also couldn't say definitively or at least walked around whether or not a president should accept help from a foreign government in an

Election and he said that he could be of course would discuss the presidential re-election as a member of the cabinet there were time and time again where we did see how

The relationship was close together so it's hard to see how he would be putting on blinders and ignoring these tweets that clearly lays out what the president prefers and highly encourages

In each of these prosecutions thanks for checking out msnbc on youtube and make sure you subscribe to stay up to date on the day's biggest stories and you can click on any of the videos around us to watch

More from morning joe and msnbc thanks so much for watching

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