President Donald Trump’s interference in the case against Roger Stone and Attorney General Bill Barr’s sycophantic response to it is now reportedly resulting in federal prosecutors across the country becoming reluctant to take any cases involving Trump and his corrupt henchmen.
When Trump attacked the sentencing recommendation against Stone earlier this week, Barr immediately took action by denouncing the work of the four Department of Justice prosecutors who were working on the case. In protest, all four resigned from the case and Barr is now working to make sure Stone receives a slap on the wrist — even though he was convicted on all seven charges against him by a jury, including counts of obstruction, lying to the FBI and witness intimidation.
The actions taken by Trump and Barr directly undermine the independence of the DOJ, and have had the added effect of spooking federal prosecutors from taking on any new cases having to do with Trump and anyone connected to him.
According to the New York Times:
To career prosecutors around the country, the Stone case raised new fears of what is to come. Until now, according to conversations with more than a dozen career lawyers in some of the 93 U.S. attorney’s offices, they had watched other divisions in the Justice Department execute significant shifts in response to Mr. Trump while the work of prosecuting crimes was largely unaffected by the politics of the moment. Now career prosecutors said they worried they might face more pressure.
Prosecutors across the United States, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals, said this week that they had already been wary of working on any case that might catch Mr. Trump’s attention and that the Stone episode only deepened their concern. They also said that they were worried that Mr. Barr might not support them in politically charged cases.”
Clearly, Trump has hijacked the Justice Department and will now use it to his benefit. He can kill cases against him and his businesses simply by issuing a tweet. He can also kill cases against his associates and curry favors from others by eliminating cases involving them as well. And he can demand the opening of sham investigations into those he considers his enemies. Any federal prosecutors who stand against him face severe retaliation.
The Justice Department is now a Trump cabal where the rule of law no longer applies to him, his family and his associates. The United States just became a banana republic and Senate Republicans are directly to blame because they should have removed Trump from office instead of acquitting him.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
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