Earlier this week, Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership changed its sentencing recommendation for former Trump associate Roger Stone.
When this news went public, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lost it, demanding a full investigation.
By tweet @realDonaldTrump engaged in political interference in the sentencing of Roger Stone. It is outrageous that DOJ has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing its recommendation. Stepping down of prosecutors should be commended & actions of DOJ should be investigated.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 12, 2020
Once again, we have a situation where the optics are far worse than the allegations being made against Trump. Democrats are accusing Trump of interference and meddling, but let’s look at the facts:
Prosecutors in the Roger Stone case made a sentencing recommendation without seeking guidance from the Justice Department. Attorney General Bill Barr has made it quite clear that he does things differently from his predecessors and that he wants to be involved in decisions such as this.
After the original sentencing recommendation was put forth, which called for up to nine years in prison, Barr and others at the DOJ balked, believing that the sentence was far too harsh for the crimes committed.
Barr’s DOJ didn’t issue a specific recommendation other than saying that the suggested sentence should be reduced. President Trump also sent out a tweet regarding the sentencing, which is what has Dems enraged. However, from reports, it seems as though Trump’s tweet went out after the letter had been sent to the presiding judge, who will have the ultimate decision-making authority over sentencing.
Virtually as soon as the news broke, House Speaker Pelosi expressed her outrage, as did other high-profile Democrats, including Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.).
It appears that the President and the Attorney General have overruled career prosecutors in order to help Roger Stone, who lied under oath on the President’s behalf. 1/2 https://t.co/ryQmhbNB1i
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) February 11, 2020
In addition to this, four prosecuting attorneys on the case turned in their resignations, making this look much worse than it really is.
But let’s be honest here, the crime for which prosecutors want Stone to do nine years is no more serious than the offense for which Democrats let Bill Clinton off the hook during his impeachment.
Nobody is saying that Stone should not do time, but nine years for lying seems to be an awfully hefty price. If Bill Clinton can get away scot-free for lying while president, it does seem like there is somewhat of a double standard at play.