Immediately after the Justice Department moved to reverse Roger Stone’s stiff sentencing recommendation, President Donald Trump abruptly withdrew his nomination of former U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu for the role of undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes at the Treasury Department, Fox News reported.
President Trump was reportedly unhappy with the recommended sentence for Stone, and Liu was the top U.S. attorney overseeing the case before her nomination.
Controversial DOJ move
Monday and Tuesday saw a flurry of activity surrounding the case of Roger Stone. The prosecuting attorneys on the case had recommended a 7-to-9-year sentence for Stone.
That recommendation was apparently made without consulting the higher-ups in the department, and the recommendation was sent to the judge without Attorney General Bill Barr’s approval.
When news of the recommendation was made public, Justice Department leadership was unhappy.
While not making an actual recommendation, a letter was sent to the presiding judge from the Department of Justice (DOJ) stating that the recommendation was far too harsh considering the crimes and that a lesser sentence would be recommended.
President Trump also sent out a tweet saying that he thought the original recommendation was far too harsh, though his tweet was reportedly sent out after the DOJ made its updated recommendation.
This all resulted in the resignation of the four prosecuting attorneys that worked directly on the case.
The moment the updated recommendation and walkout hit the headlines, Democrats went ballistic. They are all now going after Trump for meddling in the DOJ’s business and attacking Barr for being Trump’s lapdog again.
“Without knowing all of the details, the mere fact that all four of the line prosecutors withdrew from the case, as has been reported, suggests undue meddling by higher-ups at DOJ or elsewhere,” former U.S. Attorney in D.C. Channing Phillips stated.
Indeed, the media spin on this now is that Trump was apparently holding Liu responsible for the “excessive” recommendation and pulled her name more or less as punishment for doing so.
The Trump administration, however, has yet to comment on why Liu is no longer the preferred nominee for the Treasury position.