Attorney General William Barr to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee

Friday, 14 Feb, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) threw cold water on the idea of impeaching Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday, saying that she is not going to "spend all of our time going after every lie the administration henchmen make to the Congress of the United States".

In a letter addressed to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the Bar Association warned that DOJ's intervention in Stone's sentencing recommendation reflected a disregard for the rule of law and posed a serious danger to the American criminal justice system.

Trump on Wednesday thanked Attorney General William Barr, a political loyalist he appointed previous year, for "taking charge" of the case.

It came after the US Justice Department made the highly unusual decision on Tuesday to overrule its own prosecutors' sentencing recommendation in the case and request a lighter sentence for Stone.

The Department of Justice amended the sentencing recommendation earlier in the week, arguing the previous seven-to-nine-years guideline "could be considered excessive and unwarranted".

Trump on Tuesday criticized US prosecutors who recommended a prison sentence of seven to nine years for Stone in connection with his conviction in a case stemming from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation detailing Russian interference in the 2016 election to benefit Trump's candidacy.

Trump was acquitted in the Republican-led Senate last week on impeachment charges brought by the Democratic-led House accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Two of the attorneys had worked under former special counsel Robert Mueller, while the other two had picked up the case when it was transferred to the DC US attorney's office.

Republican lawmakers, who almost all voted to acquit Trump of impeachment charges, offered muted criticism of the president but shrugged off suggestions they should investigate whether his political concerns were influencing law enforcement.

Napolitano went on about how there would've been "nothing wrong" with it if Trump called Barr to raise his objections to the Stone sentencing that way.

The reversal drove all four career prosecutors in the case to quit, and one to leave the government entirely.

The stunning decision raised concerns that the president was undermining the traditional independence of the agency when it comes to individual prosecutions.

A self-proclaimed "dirty trickster", Stone has known Mr Trump since the 1980s and was instrumental in guiding him on his first steps to the White House.

Hours later, Trump targeted Jackson for her treatment of another ally of his, Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, and suggested that the judge had been soft on Hillary Clinton. Sherrod Brown told reporters.