Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey and a number of other lawmakers are calling for Attorney General William Barr to resign after the Justice Department intervened in the sentencing stage of President Trump ally Roger Stone’s criminal trial.
In a letter to Barr, Warren, Markey and seven other senators accuse Barr and other top DOJ officials of intervening in the case in a “clearly political fashion to undermine the administration of justice at the President’s behest.”
Last week, federal prosecutors in the case recommended that Stone be sentenced to seven to nine years for his convictions on charges that include lying to Congress about his communications with Wikileaks when he was an advisor to Trump's campaign. Trump blasted the move on Twitter, calling it a “miscarriage of justice.”
The DOJ then took the unusual move of revising the sentencing recommendation downward. That prompted four of the prosecutors in the case to withdraw, one resigning from the Justice Department altogether.
Yesterday, in an ABC News interview, Barr denied that he intervened in the case at the president’s direction, but added that Trump’s tweets about the DOJ and its cases “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.”
That did not assuage the lawmakers, who said Barr’s “statement is simply not credible given that it is sharply at odds with the behavior of top DOJ officials and the comments of the President over the past 72 hours.”
Trump reacted to Barr’s comments today with a tweet: “‘The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.’ A.G. Barr This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”
Warren and Markey are also among the co-sponsors of a bill unveiled today that would prohibit DOJ individuals appointed by the president from participating in matters relating to the president, his family, or those associated with the president’s campaign.