Trump admits Barr intervened to try to lessen former adviser's sentence

11490

Trump confirmed the U.S. attorney general is acting as his fixer, rather than a fair and independent law enforcement officer for the country.

Donald Trump on Wednesday erased any doubt that the Department of Justice's abrupt decision to recommend a lighter sentence for former Trump campaign adviser and convicted felon Roger Stone — against the wishes of career prosecutors who tried the case.

"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," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. "Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!"

The decision to recommend a lighter sentence for Stone — a longtime Trump confidante — led the four prosecutors who were on the case to resign in protest.

Advertisement
Loading...

Those prosecutors recommended Stone receive up to nine years in prison for the seven counts of witness tampering, lying to Congress, and obstruction of justice he was convicted of last year. But Trump later tweeted that the sentence recommendation was "unfair," and hours later the DOJ announced they would recommend a lighter sentence.

The Department of Justice is supposed to be divorced from politics. And presidents are not supposed to use the DOJ as a weapon. However, Trump on Wednesday appeared to outright admit that Barr is doing his political bidding, rather than acting independently, leading to an outcry from former DOJ officials.

"Memo to all career DOJ employees: This is not what you signed up for," Michael R. Bromwich, a former inspector general at the DOJ, tweeted. "The four prosecutors who bailed on the Stone case have shown the way. Report all instances of improper political influence and other misdeeds to the DOJ IG, who is required to protect your identity."

Stone, for his part, is scheduled to be sentenced later this month. The judge in the case, Amy Berman Jackson, is free to choose Stone's sentence, no matter what the DOJ recommends.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.