Donald Trump is once again trying to blatantly and improperly interfere in the criminal justice system. Apparently, the furor that erupted after he directed his lapdog Attorney General William Barr to step in and lessen the sentence of convicted Trump ally Roger Stone had no effect on the president’s disregard for the law. His scheme triggered calls for Barr’s resignation and even complaints from Barr himself that Trump’s meddling tweets make it harder for him to do his job.
This morning a judge sentenced Stone to three to four months in prison, a notable decrease from the original nine years that he was given before Barr’s interference, but still a hefty amount of time for a man used to living a life of privilege and corruption far from the reach of the law.
It didn’t take long for Trump to shoot off an angry tweet that attempted to downplay Stone’s crime of lying to Congress by alleging that fired FBI Director James Comey did as well. As usual, the smear was baseless and presented without one iota of evidence or explanation.
Trump also dragged Hillary Clinton and former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe into his little fit by implying that both of them, as well as Comey, should be in prison for leaking classified information, something which neither individual stands accused of beyond the conspiracy theories that run rampant in the fevered swamp of misinformation that is the MAGA movement.
“FAIRNESS?” Trump ended the tweet. The answer to this rhetorical question is of course: Yes. Yes, this is fair. Roger Stone broke the law and was convicted of a crime, he deserves to serve prison time. Clinton, Comey, and McCabe, on the other hand, are simply guilty of being political enemies of Donald J. Trump which thankfully is not (yet) a federal crime.
“They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.” @CNN OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
Joyce Alene White Vance, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, weighed in on the president’s attempt to exert influence over the sentencing of Stone. After pointing out that the president’s tweet was sent concurrently with the sentencing she said that Barr must resign or lose all of his credibility with the Department of Justice, the courts, and the American public at large.
“Hard to see how he can remain in place IF he cares about DOJ & the rule of law more than power and politics,” she concluded.
While Vance is absolutely correct, Barr has demonstrated repeatedly that he clearly cares more about power and partisan politics than the law. Loyalty to the disastrous, crooked president who appointed him has been the only consistent element to his tenure. It’s unlikely he would ever resign out of a sense of duty, but perhaps with this latest Trump tweet he will finally be forced to resign out of shame.
Trump is tweeting while Stone’s sentencing is in progress. If Barr doesn’t resign after this, he has no credibility with anyone – DOJ, courts, the public. Hard to see how he can remain in place IF he cares about DOJ & the rule of law more than power & politics. https://t.co/pGCMDH6Ai4
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) February 20, 2020