Politics & Policy

Pelosi Calls Trump’s Comments on Stone Sentencing ‘an Abuse of Power’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly news conference in Washington, D.C., February 13, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called President Trump’s complaint about the lengthy sentence of his longtime confidante Roger Stone an “abuse of power,” echoing one of the impeachment charges the House brought against the president.

“This is an abuse of power that the president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interests,” Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing.

“The president is what he is,” the speaker continued, “but where are the Republicans to speak out on this blatant violation of the rule of law?”

On Tuesday, Trump complained on Twitter about the seven-to-nine-year sentence prosecutors recommended for Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, saying the sentence constituted a “horrible and very unfair situation.”

Shortly thereafter, the Justice Department submitted a revised filing stating that the prosecutors’ recommended lengthy sentence “could be considered excessive and unwarranted,” prompting Pelosi to call Trump’s comments “political interference” and an “assault on the rule of law.”

The four prosecutors who recommended Stone’s original sentence subsequently either resigned or quit the case after the DOJ criticized their decision.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called on Wednesday for Barr to “resign or face impeachment” after the Justice Department weighed in on the Stone sentencing.

Pelosi, however, batted down the suggestion that Barr should be impeached, saying Congress is not “going to spend all of our time going after every lie that the administration henchmen make,” even though Barr has “deeply damaged the rule of law.”

“The president gave us no choice in his actions in violating the separation of power that is contained in the Constitution,” Pelosi said, explaining why Congress moved forward with impeaching Trump.

“There’s so much malfeasance on the part of the people in the executive branch right now, but the fact is our responsibility is to honor our oath of office to protect and defend,” the speaker continued. “But we can point out the disrespect that the attorney general has for the rule of law, for lying to Congress.”

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