Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | williambarr | stone | trump

Barr's Intervention in Stone Case Gives Off 'Whiff of Favoritism'

ag william barr speaks at a podium
Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 February 2020 07:41 PM

The Department of Justice’s intervention in Roger Stone’s case gives off a "whiff of favoritism,” says Stuart M. Gerson, a former deputy to Attorney General William Barr.

Stone, a friend of President Donald Trump, last week was sentenced to more than three years in prison for obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress. Prosecutors had initially asked for Stone to be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison, though Barr overrode the recommendation the day after Trump called the recommendation very unfair, saying seven years in prison would be too harsh a sentence.

"It looks to many present and former federal prosecutors that undue leniency was being afforded to a privileged, white friend of the president, who himself lent credence to the charge of favoritism by his relentless social media criticism of the case, the prosecutors, and even the presiding judge," Gerson writes in a column for Just Security.

Gerson said while he respects Barr’s intellect and “a great many of his most strongly-held views,” he doesn’t respect his “historically and constitutionally erroneous view of the power of the Executive.”

The relationship between Trump and Barr “is symbiotic: each enables the other, Barr with the far stronger intellect, the president with his visceral public voice,” writes Gerson.

“News reports have suggested that the Attorney General claims to be more concerned about doing what he believes is the right thing than he is in getting support from the rank and file at the Department. But you can’t lead if only a few are willing to follow. And it is clear that there is a substantial segment of the line lawyers at the Justice Department and in the U.S. Attorneys’ offices who are looking more over their shoulders than straight ahead.”

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The Department of Justice's intervention in Roger Stone's case gives off a "whiff of favoritism," says Stuart M. Gerson, a former deputy to Attorney General William Barr.Stone, a friend of President Donald Trump, ...
williambarr, stone, trump
Wednesday, 26 February 2020 07:41 PM
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