Politics Democrats ask Graham to investigate political interference at DOJ
Roger Stone backlash: Democrats demand Barr resign, call for investigation, hearings
The fallout comes after the DOJ suddenly reversed its recommendation for a 7-9 year sentence for the Trump confidante.Top Democrats are pushing for the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing to review the decision that led to the sudden resignation of all four prosecutors Tuesday from the Stone criminal case. Stone was found guilty in November of all seven counts against him including making false statements, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional probe.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking Chairman Lindsey Graham to investigate potential political interference at the Justice Department, and to call Attorney General William Barr to testify.
"The Justice Department's mission 'to ensure fair and impartial justice for all Americans' requires that its prosecutorial decisions remain free from political influence," all ten Democrats on the committee, led by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, wrote in a letter to Graham on Thursday. "It's becoming clear that this is not happening. That's why the Judiciary Committee should investigate involvement of political appointees in this and other cases and hear directly from Attorney General Barr."
Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is requesting interviews with a slew of current and former Justice Department and FBI officials as part of his panel's probe into the department's handling of the investigation into Russia's election interference and the Trump campaign. © Aaron Schwartz Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation Graham sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Friday asking that he make 17 officials, many of whom are identified only by title, available for interviews.
The letter comes after the Justice Department overruled prosecutors' in the case of Roger Stone, a Trump associate convicted of obstructing Congress. The department's came after Mr. Trump sent a tweet criticizing the prosecutors' recommendation of seven to nine years in prison. Mr. Trump appeared to confirm that Barr intervened directly in Stone's case in a tweet on Wednesday for "taking charge."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had already made the case on Wednesday that Barr's actions should be investigated, but Graham was unmoved.
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Rudy Giuliani wants President Trump to move ahead with an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden after he is likely to be acquitted by the Senate. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc."Absolutely; 100%," Giuliani, who is Trump’s personal lawyer, told NPR. "I would have no problem with him doing it. In fact, I'd have a problem with him not doing it. I think he would be saying that Joe Biden can get away with selling out the United States, making us a fool in the Ukraine.
"I don't think any of us should tweet about an ongoing case, but having said that, I appreciate the Department of Justice, making sure that their recommendations to the court seek justice consistent with the law as it's written," Graham said. He also said he took Schumer's comments "with a grain of salt."
Barr before the House Judiciary Committee at the end of March. In a on Wednesday, all 23 Democratic committee members wrote that they "wish to be candid" about a "set of concerns" they plan to ask about at the March 31 hearing, including his intervention in the sentencing recommendation for Stone.
"Since President Trump took office, we have repeatedly warned you and your predecessors that the misuse of our criminal justice system for political purposes is both dangerous to our democracy and unacceptable to the House Judiciary Committee," the letter said. "We have been consistent — and bipartisan — in this message for years."
GOP senators say Trump shouldn't weigh in on pending sentences
Some Republican senators said on Wednesday that President Trump shouldn't weigh in on pending sentences after he publicly criticized an initial recommendation from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the case of Roger Stone.The comments come as senators are facing an onslaught of questions over DOJ's decision to lower its sentencing recommendation for Stone, a Trump associate, overriding front-line prosecutors."I don't like this chain of eventsThe comments come as senators are facing an onslaught of questions over DOJ's decision to lower its sentencing recommendation for Stone, a Trump associate, overriding front-line prosecutors.
Democrats also said they were concerned about the withdrawal of the nomination of U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu to a Treasury Department position. Liu was until recently the U.S. attorney in D.C., overseeing the cases against former Trump campaign official Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Stone. The withdrawal of Liu's nomination was first reported byon Tuesday.
The letter also took note of Barr's creation of anfor Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, and others to provide the Justice Department information regarding Ukraine.
Alan He contributed to this report.
Facebook shuts down Iran-based misinformation campaign targeting US .
The company also removed operations based in Russia, Vietnam and Myanmar.The social media platform said Wednesday it shut down six Facebook accounts and five Instagram accounts based in Iran that were part of a network attempting to create foreign interference in the US. Individuals used fake accounts to share political news stories, try to contact public officials and post in various groups. They focused on content dealing with the US elections, religion, immigration policy and other political issues.
Sen. Grassley on concerns of political interference within the DOJ
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and concerns the FBI has become too politicized.