This week, the Trump appointee-led Department of Justice put yet another gross power grab on display with their handling of the case against longtime Trump ally Roger Stone. After an initial recommendation from the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office for a sentence of 7 to 9 years, higher-ups at the department stepped in with a reduction, which — although they claim the decision came sooner — was revealed after Trump himself had a public Twitter meltdown about the original sentencing recommendation. In a public statement posted to Twitter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered Trump and his appointees at the Justice Department for their brazen political interference.
‘By tweet @realDonaldTrump engaged in political interference in the sentencing of Roger Stone. It is outrageous that DOJ has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing its recommendation. Stepping down of prosecutors should be commended & actions of DOJ should be investigated.’
By tweet @realDonaldTrump engaged in political interference in the sentencing of Roger Stone. It is outrageous that DOJ has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing its recommendation. Stepping down of prosecutors should be commended & actions of DOJ should be investigated.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 12, 2020
Even if it’s true that, as officials claim, the decision to reduce the department’s sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone was made before Trump’s recent morning tweet about the case, the president’s appointees at the department are far from in the clear. Thanks to the political climate, it’s ludicrous to suggest that they’d have made their decision at any point without at least a consciousness of the president’s long clearly stated perspective on the proceedings, which he’s routinely denounced. Besides — maybe there was some kind of internal White House communication about the sentencing before the tweet.
Now, besides the sentencing reduction, Attorney General and ardent Trump defender Bill Barr has also been announced as the new department lead on all Trump-adjacent matters, including the Stone sentencing. This debacle is the latest in a long line of presidential interference in the judicial system stretching back to incidents like his abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey in 2017, who had been leading the Russia investigation at the time. Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not exonerate Trump on charges of obstruction of justice at the conclusion of his Russia investigation.
Check out Twitter’s response to Pelosi…