The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Federal Judges Call ‘Emergency’ Meeting In Response To Barr And Trump

@jeisrael

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

Youtube Screenshot

In late 2011, John Oliver and his Daily Show cameraman made a trek to my office, then in Providence, Rhode Island, to take me to task. I had recently referred to the Tea Partiers who had pushed America to the brink of a disastrous default as "economic terrorists."

Oliver had apparently swallowed whole a series of barbs directed my way by a Wall Street Journal blogger who didn't seem to like women much. The blogger kept calling me the "Civility diva" and a "Baroness Catherine Ashton lookalike." (A member of the British parliament, Ashton was said to be homely.) He was quite the wit.

Keep reading...Show less

Donald Trump and Mike Pence

Youtube Screenshot

Several mainstream media outlets are manufacturing a political narrative that the discovery of classified documents at the homes of both President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence should alleviate pressure on disgraced former President Donald Trump, who not only took a vast trove of federal records but also refused to give them back.

Biden and Pence have both cooperated with federal investigators to recover and return documents that belong to the government, and both situations have rekindled scrutiny at the overall system of federal document classification and retention, which appears to be in serious need of reform. Their two examples stand in stark contrast to Trump’s behavior, and possible misconduct, regarding his own handling of government records.

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