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.
Yesterday, USA Today reported that the Federal Judges Association, a group with over 1,000 members, would hold an “emergency meeting” today to discuss the spreading concerns over Trump’s DOJ interference. Between fifteen and twenty members of the association’s executive committee were slated to take part in a conference call aimed at deciding 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.”
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
Trump clearly got wind of the conference call because he took to Twitter today to say that he hopes the Federal Judges Association will “discuss the tremendous FISA court abuse” related to the Mueller probe.
The FISA conspiracy theory has become a staple of right-wing rhetoric engineered to help the president and his surrogates delegitimize Mueller’s perfectly legal and proper investigation. This time, the president took things a step further and alleged that documents were forged and that the Steele Dossier was “fake and totally discredited.” No further explanation or proof was provided per usual.
Luckily for the American people, the FJA is not obligated to take its marching orders from Trump and whatever public action or rhetoric they embrace in the coming days will almost certainly not be to the president’s liking. Trump cant indulge in paranoid rants all he wants, beyond his core fanatic base they’ll end up falling on deaf ears.
I hope the Federal Judges Association will discuss the tremendous FISA Court abuse that has taken place with respect to the Mueller Investigation Scam, including the forging of documents and knowingly using the fake and totally discredited Dossier before the Court. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020