Day 1,118: Trump, Barr continue to engage in unprecedented meddling of DOJ affairs to benefit Trump
In the U.S., the Department of Justice and politics has historically been and should always be like oil and vinegar. However, under Donald Trump’s administration, that’s all been thrown out the window and they’ve been allowed to freely mix.
Trump routinely pressured his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to do his bidding. And now, his second attorney general, William Barr is using his office to give political favors to Trump to an unprecedented degree.
Tuesday, four prosecutors resigned from a case over Barr’s meddling in Trump buddy Roger Stone’s case.
The entire team prosecuting Roger Stone abruptly resigned from the criminal case on Tuesday after the Justice Department said it planned to reduce the recommended sentence for Stone, a longtime Trump associate.
The Justice Department on Tuesday said it was pulling back on its request to sentence Stone to seven to nine years in prison after President Donald Trump blasted the sentencing proposal as “a miscarriage of justice.”
The revised recommendation doesn’t ask for a particular sentence but says the one that was recommended earlier “does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter” and that the actual sentence should be “far less.”
The reason behind the attorneys’ protest was far from subtle.
After reports that a softer sentencing recommendation was imminent, lead prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky withdrew as a prosecutor in the case. A footnote in his court filing noted that “the undersigned attorney has resigned effective immediately.”
Trump has been tweeting about the case for much of the day, in yet another flagrant overstepping of the once sacred line between justice and politics.
This is far from the first time Trump has tried to pressure others to do justice as he saw fit. Late last year he intervened in an alleged war criminal’s military punishment, despite a trial by his peers. Trump is currently meddling in his former National Security Advisor’s case and frequently laments his former campaign chair’s criminal sentence.
The entire DOJ is being stained by Barr’s use of the department for political gain for his boss. He’s not remotely bashful about what’s happening and, if anything, is growing bolder over time. Should Trump win a second term in November, things will likely get far worse than the already-unprecedented state that currently exists.
1,118 days in, 344 to go
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