News

Law & the Courts

Over 1,000 Ex-DOJ Officials Call on AG Barr to Resign following Roger Stone Sentencing

Attorney General William Barr speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., May 9, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials signed a letter released on Sunday urging Attorney General William Barr to resign in the wake of Barr’s intervention in the sentencing of political operative Roger Stone.

“In this nation, we are all equal before the law. A person should not be given special treatment in a criminal prosecution because they are a close political ally of the President,” the letter reads. “Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies.”

Eight legal analysts for CNN and MSNBC are among the signatories of the letter. The petition was compiled by anti-Trump non-profit Protect Democracy.

The Justice Department originally recommended Stone be sentenced to seven-to-nine years in prison for lying to investigators in the Mueller probe. A senior Justice Department official told NPR that other officials were “shocked” by the recommendation.

Barr intervened to reduce the recommended sentence, but only after President Trump wrote of his outrage regarding the original sentence on Twitter. Trump then praised Barr for “taking charge” of the Stone case.

Barr on Thursday denied that he had intervened in the Stone case at Trump’s direction, and criticized Trump for tweeting about the case.

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody,” Barr said in an interview with ABC News. “And I said, whether it’s Congress, newspaper editorial boards, or the president, I’m going to do what I think is right. I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

On Kamala Harris

Joe Biden has named his 2020 running mate: authoritarianism. American prosecutors wield awesome and terrible powers that lend themselves easily to abuse, and Senator Kamala Harris, formerly the attorney general of California, is an enthusiastic abuser of them. Harris was a leader in the junta of Democratic ... Read More
Elections

On Kamala Harris

Joe Biden has named his 2020 running mate: authoritarianism. American prosecutors wield awesome and terrible powers that lend themselves easily to abuse, and Senator Kamala Harris, formerly the attorney general of California, is an enthusiastic abuser of them. Harris was a leader in the junta of Democratic ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Abortion Absolutism

Abortion policy is just one of several areas in which California senator Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, has sworn to abuse executive power to assert her preferences if Congress won’t legislate as she’d like. Her authoritarian instincts were frightening when she was running for president herself, ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Abortion Absolutism

Abortion policy is just one of several areas in which California senator Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, has sworn to abuse executive power to assert her preferences if Congress won’t legislate as she’d like. Her authoritarian instincts were frightening when she was running for president herself, ... Read More