The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The Federal Judges Association, an independent group of federal judges, called an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss growing interference by Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr’s Department of Justice in political cases.

The meeting comes after career prosecutors in the Roger Stone case were overruled on sentencing recommendations, prompting all four of them to resign in protest.

U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, a George W. Bush appointee and the head of the group, told USA Today that her organization “could not wait” until its spring gathering to “talk all of this through.”

More than 1,000 federal judges are part of the association.

Stone, Trump’s former lobbyist and 2016 campaign adviser, was convicted in November of federal witness tampering and obstruction charges. Prosecutors last week urged a prison sentence of between seven and nine years.

Trump publicly attacked the recommendation as a “horrible and very unfair situation,” saying he could not “allow this miscarriage of justice!”

Barr then apparently intervened and his Justice Department announced it would instead recommend a lighter sentence.

The Justice Department later claimed it had made the decision to lower Stone’s sentencing recommendation before Trump aired his grievances on Twitter.

Trump praised the about-face in a tweet last Wednesday, congratulating Barr “for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not even have been brought.”

Claiming juror bias, Stone asked recently for a new trial.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted an attack on the judge overseeing the Stone case, quoting a Fox News commentator who questioned her impartiality and urging the initial verdict be set aside.

Barr also came under fire last week after it was reported he had brought in an outside prosecutor to review the case of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding his communications with Russian officials in 2017. The move was widely viewed as an attempt to undermine Barr’s own Justice Department in yet another favor to the president.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Billboard urging "No" vote on Kansas abortion referendum

That Kansas voted to protect abortion rights guaranteed in its state constitution didn’t surprise me, although I certainly never expected a landslide. The original “Jayhawks,” after all, waged a guerilla war to prevent Missourians from bringing slavery into the Kansas territory, a violent dress rehearsal for the Civil War. A good deal of the state’s well-known conservatism is grounded in stiff-necked independence.

In the popular imagination, Kansas has always signified heartland values and rustic virtue. Superman grew up on a farm there, disguised as mild-mannered Clark Kent. So did Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, a spunky young woman with an adventurous spirit. But cartoonish fantasies have little to do with the real world. My favorite Kansas politician was always Sen. Bob Dole, war hero, Senate majority leader, 1996 GOP presidential nominee, and unmistakably his own man.

Keep reading... Show less

Colbert Mocks Trump's Bad Toilet habits

Image via YouTube

The political world was rocked by the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence, perhaps prompted by reports that he had flushed classified intelligence documents down the toilet. Not surprisingly, Late Show host Stephen Colbert found this image laughable if alarming. (Over the weekend, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman had revealed photos from a White House source revealing scraps of paper at the bottom of a toilet bowl.)

“To be fair, it’s unclear if those are official White House documents or his toilet’s suicide note,” Colbert noted, although the papers did appear to have Trump’s Sharpie handwriting, as well as the name “Stefanik” written on them -- as in Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}