Americans have seen this movie before. Trump hollowed out the Justice Department until he finally found his Roy Cohn in Attorney General William Barr. Now it’s on to the Departments of State and Defense.
On Feb. 10, distinguished federal career prosecutors recommended a seven- to nine-year prison sentence for Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
Then in the middle of the night, Trump tweeted that the recommendation was “horrendous,” “unfair,” and a “miscarriage of justice.” As dawn broke over the nation’s capital, the DOJ was calling the recommendation “extreme and excessive and disproportionate to Stone’s offenses.” By the end of the day, all four prosecutors who had signed the original sentencing memorandum had withdrawn from the case. One had left the government altogether.
A new memo signed by the interim US attorney for the District of Columbia, Barr’s close adviser Timothy Shea, recanted the earlier recommendation and underlying analysis, saying that the originally proposed sentence “could be considered excessive and unwarranted….”
(In an upcoming post, I’ll have more on the intrigue surrounding Shea’s recent appointment to replace DC’s former US Attorney, Jesse Liu. It’s not pretty.)
Trump then congratulated Barr for “taking charge” of the case, “which perhaps should not even been brought.”
State and Defense Department Witnesses
Trump is also retaliating against State and Defense Department witnesses whose only sin was to defy his edict commanding silence in the face of congressional subpoenas. They testified about Trump’s wrongdoing. And they did it under oath — something Trump has yet to do.
It’s going to get worse. The cure won’t arrive until November.
JAN. 31, 2020: Senate Votes Against Calling Trial Witnesses
JAN. 31, 2020: DOJ Admits It Has Documents Relating Trump Role in Withholding US Aid to Ukraine
JAN. 31, 2020: Yovanovitch Retiring
FEB. 4, 2020: DOJ Finally Says It Will Refer Request to Investigate Prince for Review
FEB. 4, 2020: Giuliani Is Still Seeking Information on the Bidens
FEB. 5, 2020: Wray Testifies That Russians Continue to Engage in Malign Influence
FEB. 5, 2020: Trump Acquitted
FEB. 5, 2020: Sens. Grassley and Johnson Request Hunter Biden Records
FEB. 5, 2020: Barr Issues New Rules on Presidential Investigations
FEB. 7, 2020: Trump Fires Vindman and Sondland
FEB. 9-10, 2020: Giuliani’s Ukraine Info on Biden Going to Barr