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Politics Harris demands Barr testify over Roger Stone sentence recommendation

05:05  12 february  2020
05:05  12 february  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Federal judges' association calls emergency meeting after DOJ intervenes in case of Trump ally Roger Stone

  Federal judges' association calls emergency meeting after DOJ intervenes in case of Trump ally Roger Stone An association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting after Attorney General William Barr intervened in the case of Trump ally Roger Stone.Philadelphia U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, said the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to weigh in on a deepening crisis that has enveloped the Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr.

Prosecutors will issue a revised sentencing recommendation later that day, he added. Wow, Mueller prosecutor Zelinsky withdraws from the Stone case We are officially a f*cking banana republic!"The statement came hours after President Trump tweeted of the sentence prosecutors recommended

Both the sentencing recommendation and the president’s tweet took officials at Justice Department headquarters by surprise, according to a department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Stone case was ongoing. The recommendation was higher than what the United States

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is demanding that Attorney General William Barr testify publicly over the Justice Department's decision to reduce the recommended sentence for Trump associate Roger Stone.

Kamala Harris talking on a cell phone: Harris demands Barr testify over Roger Stone sentence recommendation© Greg Nash Harris demands Barr testify over Roger Stone sentence recommendation

Harris is asking Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to call Barr before the panel, which she is also a member of.

"I request that you immediately schedule a hearing for Attorney General William Barr to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee so that the committee and the American people can understand the Justice Department's decision to overrule its career prosecutors in this case," Harris wrote in a letter to Graham.

Barr blasts Trump's tweets: 'Impossible for me to do my job': ABC News Exclusive

  Barr blasts Trump's tweets: 'Impossible for me to do my job': ABC News Exclusive Attorney General William Barr blasted President Trump's tweets about the Roger Stone case in an exclusive interview with ABC News Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. When asked if he was prepared for the consequences of criticizing the president – his boss – Barr said “of course” because his job is to run the Justice Department and make decisions on “what I think is the right thing to do.” 1/3 SLIDES © File-Drew Angerer/Getty Images File photo: Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on Nov. 26, 2019, in Washington.

The original sentencing recommendation had justified itself by citing the severity of Stone ’s offenses — including, among other things, the fact that he tried to obstruct an investigation designed to get to the bottom of interference in our election, which “strikes at the very heart of our American democracy.”

Federal prosecutors will recommend a lower suggested prison sentence for Roger Stone than the term of seven to nine years that was recommended Monday night for the longtime ally of President Donald Trump. Department of Justice officials found the recommendation , by prosecutors from the

The Justice Department on Tuesday asked a federal court to sentence Stone to "far less" than seven to nine months in prison-the timeframe federal prosecutors had recommended on Monday.

"While it remains the position of the United States that a sentence of incarceration is warranted here, the government respectfully submits that the range of 87 to 108 months presented as the applicable advisory Guidelines range would not be appropriate or serve the interests of justice in this case," the department said.

The u-turn has sparked mass outrage among Democrats and lead to all four of the DOJ lawyers central to Stone's prosecution and initial sentencing recommendation to withdraw from the case.

"The Justice Department's decision to overrule its career prosecutors, immediately after President Trump's tweet, calls into question the independence and integrity of our legal system," Harris added in the letter.

William Barr’s interview: McConnell, top Republicans support him. Critics are suspicious.

  William Barr’s interview: McConnell, top Republicans support him. Critics are suspicious. Both sides thought President Trump should take William Barr's advice. But critics questioned the attorney general's motive for speaking out about Trump's tweets.“The attorney general says it’s getting in the way of doing his job,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Fox News anchor Bret Baier. “Maybe the president should listen to the attorney general.

Stone was convicted in October of seven felony counts including lying to Congress, obstruction of Congress One witness, former Trump campaign official Rick Gates, testified that he was in a car with Trump in Stone ’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20. In addition to determining the sentence

recommended prison time for Roger Stone , an ally of President Donald Trump, a federal official said Tuesday, just hours after the president condemned the recommended The official said there was no contact with the White House before the decision was made to lower the sentence recommendation .

Harris is the second member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to request the committee investigate the Justice Department's decision to ask for a lesser sentence.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also sent a letter to Graham on Tuesday requesting an investigation, saying the Justice Department's decision "smacks of dangerous political interference in law enforcement decision-making."

Trump had publicly criticized the initial seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation, calling it "very unfair."

"This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!" Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

But Trump said on Tuesday that he did not instruct the Justice Department to change its sentence, but that he could have and that he thought the initial recommendation was "ridiculous."

"I'd be able to do it if I wanted. I have the absolute right to do it. I stay out of things," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Strange scenes at Roger Stone’s sentencing raise even more questions about William Barr .
Thursday's events will heighten suspicions about what’s happening behind the scenes in the Justice Department. Some suggested Crabb was perhaps making a statement by reverting to the arguments in the first recommendation. If that’s not the case, though, the fact that he did move in that direction suggests this whole drama was somewhat pointless in the first place.

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