Attorney General William Barr faces a growing clamor of voices calling for his resignation in the wake of the revelation that he intervened to get Roger Stone’s criminal sentencing reduced at the president’s behest. Barr’s move caused the four prosecutors involved in Stone’s case to withdraw their involvement in protestation.
This underhanded move represents a stunning abuse of power on the part of both the president and Barr and proves that Trump will happily abuse the apparatuses of the incredibly powerful Department of Justice to help himself and his allies. This methodical dismantling of the nonpartisan nature of the DOJ will have far-reaching consequences for our democracy and could irreparably damage the credibility and thus efficacy of the institution in the long term.
Now, USA Today reports that the Federal Judges Association, a group with over 1,000 members, will be holding an “emergency meeting” tomorrow to discuss the spreading concerns over Trump’s DOJ interference. Between fifteen and twenty members of the association’s executive committee will take part in a conference call that will help decide what, if any, action the members will take going forward. It as yet undecided if the discussion and agreed-upon next steps will be made public.
“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about. We’ll talk all of this through,” the organization’s leader, Philadelphia U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, told USA Today.
Rufe explained the sudden nature of the meeting by saying that it simply “could not wait” due to the severity of the situation. In addition to the Stone interference, the FJA was perturbed by Trump’s tweet criticizing the judge who oversaw the sentencing of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. While Rufe stated that the association isn’t “inclined to get involved with an ongoing case” she explained her organization is “supportive of any federal judge who does what is required.”
To anyone still in denial about the gravity and extent of Trump’s corrupt assault on the Justice Department, this news should serve as a wake-up call. Our nation’s judges think the White House might be undermining our legal system from the top down. If this president wins reelection there is no telling how bad things might get for our Republic.
The group “could not wait” until its spring conference to weigh in on a deepening crisis that has enveloped the Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr. https://t.co/krwb2lgLiX
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 17, 2020