Four prosecutors who recommended a seven- to nine-year prison term for a convicted felon who’s also a friend of Donald John Trump have quit.
Why? Because the attorney general of the United States, William Barr, has said he wants to reduce their recommendation to send Trump pal Roger Stone to the slammer for as long as nine years.
Does this seem like political meddling in the criminal justice process? It does to me.
And who, pre-tell, ordered this recommendation? It might have come from, oh let’s see, the White House.
Stone is awaiting sentencing for lying under oath and for hindering the investigation into the Russian collusion matter that ended up on special counsel Robert Mueller III’s desk.
Trump called the career prosecutors’ sentence recommendation a “miscarriage of justice.” My question now is whether Barr acted on the president’s Twitter rant. If so, then it looks for all the world to me as though we have yet another case of presidential meddling where it does not belong.
The prosecutors who quit have shown considerable backbone and grit in walking away from their responsibilities in this matter. They remind me of when AG Elliot Richardson and his deputy William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than follow President Nixon’s order in 1973 to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox as the Watergate scandal began to spin out of control.
These four prosecutors today can stand tall for the principle they have endorsed.