Week In The News: 2020 Election Latest, Trump's DOJ, Barr Responds To Trump Tweets

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U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the census with Attorney General William Barr in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the census with Attorney General William Barr in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On to Nevada and South Carolina for the Democrats. The heavy hand of Trump’s Justice Department. And a whole lot more in our week in review roundtable.


Susan Glasser, staff writer at The New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column on life in Trump’s Washington. (@sbg1)

Molly Ball, national political correspondent for Time. (@mollyesque)

Gerald Seib, executive Washington editor for The Wall Street Journal. (@GeraldFSeib)

From The Reading List

The New Yorker: "A President So Unhinged That Even Bill Barr Says He’s Out of Control" — "President Trump is not moving on. He is not getting over it. In the eight days since his acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate, Trump has shown all too clearly what he took from the experience of being the third President in American history to be impeached and tried.

"On Wednesday, marking the one-week anniversary of the Senate’s preordained verdict almost to the minute, reporters asked Trump what lesson he had learned from impeachment. His response was 'that the Democrats are crooked . . . that they are vicious, that they shouldn’t have brought impeachment.'

"On Thursday, the President attacked Mike Bloomberg, John Kelly, a juror who voted to convict Roger Stone, Robert Mueller, and his own 'Justice' Department. (Trump’s quotes, not mine.) And that was just before noon. Through it all, he has been carrying out a purge of those who figured, in ways large and small, in the impeachment and threatening to root out additional dissenters in his midst. 'We want bad people out of our government!' the President tweeted on Thursday morning."

The Wall Street Journal: "Trump Praises Barr for ‘Taking Charge’ in Roger Stone Case" — "President Trump praised Attorney General William Barr for “taking charge” of the case against Roger Stone amid a firestorm sparked by the Justice Department’s decision to reverse itself and recommend less prison time for the president’s longtime confidant.

“'Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,' Mr. Trump said in tweets Wednesday morning, calling the initial recommended sentence of seven to nine years unfair and suggesting it was the work of 'rogue prosecutors.'

"On Capitol Hill, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said Mr. Barr has accepted their invitation to testify before the panel on March 31 about matters including the sentencing recommendation for Mr. Stone. Congressional Democrats, calling for further investigation into the matter, said Mr. Trump’s public comments tainted the sentencing process."

The New York Times: "After Stone Case, Prosecutors Say They Fear Pressure From Trump" — "For decades after Watergate, the White House treated the Justice Department with the softest of gloves, fearful that any appearance of political interference would resurrect the specter of Attorney General John Mitchell helping President Richard M. Nixon carry out a criminal conspiracy for political ends.

"In 2001, William P. Barr, describing his first stint as attorney general, under President George Bush, spoke of the department’s protected status in the post-Watergate era. 'You didn’t mess around with it, didn’t intervene, you didn’t interfere,' he recalled in an oral history.

"Fast forward to 2020, and Mr. Barr is attorney general once more. But President Trump’s ground-shaking conduct has demolished those once-sacrosanct guardrails. Mr. Barr’s intervention to lessen a prison sentencing recommendation for the president’s convicted friend Roger J. Stone Jr. prompted all four career prosecutors handling the matter to quit the case."

The New York Times: "Coronavirus Cases Seemed to Be Leveling Off. Not Anymore." — "The news seemed to be positive: The number of new coronavirus cases reported in China over the past week suggested that the outbreak might be slowing — that containment efforts were working.

"But on Thursday, officials added more than 14,840 new cases to the tally of the infected in Hubei Province alone, bringing the total number to 48,206, the largest one-day increase so far recorded. The death toll in the province rose to 1,310, including 242 new deaths.

"The sharp rise in reported cases illustrates how hard it has been for scientists to grasp the extent and severity of the coronavirus outbreak in China, particularly inside the epicenter, where thousands of sick people remain untested for the illness. Confronted by so many people with symptoms and no easy way to test them, authorities appear to have changed the way the illness is identified."

This program aired on February 14, 2020.


David Folkenflik Host, On Point
David Folkenflik is a former host of On Point.


Stefano Kotsonis Senior Producer, On Point
Stefano Kotsonis is a senior producer for WBUR's On Point.



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