Attorney General William Barr hasn't compromised his independence




  • In US
  • 2020-02-26 23:47:16Z
  • By USA TODAY Opinion
Attorney General William Barr hasn\
Attorney General William Barr hasn\'t compromised his independence  

More than 2,600 former federal prosecutors have signed a letter calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., says he should be impeached. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., insists he should be in jail.

Good heavens! What caused this mass outbreak of the vapors?

The Justice Department filed a sentencing memorandum recommending that Roger Stone be sentenced to "far less" than the seven to nine years recommended by four career prosecutors originally assigned to his case by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Why the lengthy sentence recommendation? Federal guidelines allow more time to be added for "threatening to cause physical injury to a person … in order to obstruct … justice."

Stone allegedly told a potential witness - radio talk show host Randy Credico - that he should "prepare to die" if he testified truthfully.

Credico, however, has stated that he never felt threatened and "chalked up his bellicose tirades to 'Stone being Stone. All bark and no bite.' " Credico even wrote a letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson urging her not to send Stone to prison.

Without this "enhancement," the sentencing range for Stone - a 67-year-old with no criminal record - would be 37 to 46 months, which Barr has suggested would be more appropriate.

Indeed, Judge Jackson ultimately sentenced Stone to 40 months.

OUR VIEW: William Barr pledged to protect the DOJ; he's destroying it instead

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that the original recommendation was "horrible and very unfair," prompting charges of political interference. Both Trump and Barr have stated, though, that they didn't speak to each other about the matter. Trump's tweets about pending cases "make it impossible for me to do my job," Barr has rightly stated.

Has Barr's independence been compromised? Hardly. Barr honored his pledge to let Mueller complete his investigation unimpeded and to release as much of Mueller's report as he could. He didn't drop the Stone prosecution or dismiss the pending charges against Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Rudy Giuliani's associates. He didn't overrule recommendations not to charge former FBI Director James Comey or former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

"I will not be bullied ... by anybody, whether it be editorial boards, or Congress or the president. I'm going to do what I think is right," Barr stated during his confirmation hearing. That's exactly what he has done here.

John G. Malcolm, a former Justice Department prosecutor, is vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Zack Smith is a legal fellow at Heritage and a former assistant U.S. attorney.

If you can't see this reader poll, please refresh your page.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Attorney General William Barr hasn't compromised his independence

COMMENTS

More Related News

What if the Most Important Election of Our Lifetimes Was the Last One?
What if the Most Important Election of Our Lifetimes Was the Last One?

Politics runs on superlative: the best plan, the biggest rally, the most votes.And one trope has proved most enduring of all, repeated each campaign season with well-practiced conviction."This is the most important election of our lifetimes," Bernie Sanders said of 2020 last month."The

Trump replaces watchdog who was overseeing $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus spending
Trump replaces watchdog who was overseeing $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus spending

President Trump replaced acting Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine, the top watchdog for COVID-19 stimulus spending.

Acting Navy secretary is out after bungled firing of USS Theodore Roosevelt
Acting Navy secretary is out after bungled firing of USS Theodore Roosevelt's captain

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, who had lambasted Capt. Brett Crozier for his letter about a coronavirus-stricken warship, submitted his resignation, sources said.

How a Ship
How a Ship's Coronavirus Outbreak Became a Moral Crisis for the Military

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's acting Navy secretary, in a profanity-laced reprimand delivered Monday, criticized sailors aboard the stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt for cheering their captain, who was removed after he appealed for help as the coronavirus spread throughout the

Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic
Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic

A top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the coronavirus crisis could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.The warning, written in a memo by Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US