Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) usually stands firmly behind President Donald Trump. But this week, Graham is flipping the script.
The South Carolina Republican suggested Wednesday that Trump’s choice to tweet about Roger Stone’s recent sentencing recommendation was “not appropriate,” Breitbart reported.
Graham’s criticizing comments came after liberals alleged that the president is trying to put his thumb on the scale in Stone’s favor. Trump had complained in a tweet that a recommended sentence for Stone — seven-to-nine years for crimes including lying to prosecutors — was far too harsh.
The problem, in liberals’ eyes, was only compounded when Attorney General Bill Barr announced that he would be sending a letter to the presiding judge asking for a lighter sentence for Stone. This left some thinking the Justice Department may be doing Trump’s bidding.
For his part, Graham doesn’t think that’s the case. “I think he feels like the people who are out to get him are going overboard,” the senator told CNN of the president on Wednesday, according to Breitbart. “I mean, just put yourself in his shoes.”
But while Graham doesn’t think there’s any nefarious going on between Trump and his Justice Department, he still wasn’t happy with Trump’s choice to tweet out his thoughts. “Tweeting about an ongoing criminal matter is not appropriate,” he admitted.
Just getting started
If you are wondering who is right here, the honest answer is everyone.
Realistically, because of Trump’s ties to Stone, he should have let everything play out and waited until after sentencing to make any comment at all. However, this sentencing recommendation was way over the top.
The Justice Department uses guidelines based on a grading scale to decide how harsh of a sentence it should recommend. The higher the number, the longer the sentence.
The prosecutors making Stone’s sentencing recommendation, several of whom worked for former special counsel Robert Mueller, based it on a rating of 29, meaning their call for up to nine years was accurate. However, their grading included points for a threat issued by Stone that nobody really considered to be serious — even the would-be victim.
Barr’s recommendation removed that threat, putting the grading at a 21, which would offer a maximum sentence of about five years. This seems fair, but Dems aren’t really buying it. They’ve called Barr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next month to explain his actions with regard to Stone, as well as other matters, according to the Daily Caller.
Stay tuned, patriots, because it looks like this little dustup is far from over.