After Stone Case, Prosecutors Say They Fear Pressure From Trump

The episode also brought to a head tensions in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.

Comments: 223

  1. From what I understand from recent Public discussions, there was an initial back office meeting between frontline prosecutors and management level DOJ that initially indicated a shorter sentence. The 4 front line prosecutors then subsequently formally submitted the 7 to 9 year recommendation to the court. Tweet or not, this more severe submission beyond that discussed in internal DOJ meetings probably deserves review. Time will tell if there is evidence to support these early reports. As we all know, often the first information that comes out is often wrong. I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but it almost makes you wonder if this departure from the originally discussed sentencing recommendation wasn’t in fact designed to get a reaction from Trump so that this could be the next bone for congressional Democrats to chew on. The bottom line from here on out with regards to trump versus the Democrat side of Congress is this — they openly declared themselves to be the enemy literally from the night of the election on. Not my president, pink hats, and all the other nonsense. I fully expected at every opportunity he will not only jam his finger but his entire fist in their eye at every opportunity. Dysfunctional ? yes. Expected ? Also yes.

  2. @Todd Stultz the President is applying open pressure on a Judge in a case that had not yet come to its conclusion. That, in itself, is surely crossing a line that is dangerous to democracy to cross?

  3. @Todd Stultz stone lied to Congress, obstructed justice and tampered with a witness. He was convicted by a jury of his peers. Technically, he could’ve received a much longer sentence for these crimes.

  4. The 4 prosecutors who quit in protest when DT overruled their sentencing recommendation (via DOJ) are *real people*. People with loved ones, bills, dreams, problems and joys. They resigned in recognition of a president overreaching his powers. Again. No need to invent a conspiracy theory. We have a “stranger than fiction” presidency right before our eyes.

  5. Is there no part of the government or republican party that will not grovel before this president? All the norms we have had, an independent Justice Department, a military that can deal with their own, support for All Americans, dislike for dictators, seem to have been washed away. There needs to be a new outcome come November elections or as bad as things are now they will only get worse.

  6. @ALF Yes, there are many career Government professionals who "will not grovel before this President," who have come forward and testified when subpoenaed by Congress; many diplomats who have spoken, or even resigned over changes in longstanding foreign policy; the 4 US Prosecutors on the Roger Stone case withdrew from the case in protest. The corruption is at the top, beginning with Trump and his appointees. Trump and Republicans must be removed in the 2020 election before they corrupt the entire Federal Government.

  7. @ALF The Right wants to Mage America Grovel Again. The Right thinks America was great when it was a colony under the King. They are openly against political equality for all citizens (14th Amendment), and openly say that our government is their "enemy." The "Government" is Our Constitutional Republic, and they are self-declared enemies of our Republic who run for office with promises to destroy it. Now they have a lying fraud president governing as if he is King, while they protect him from any accountability to the Constitution. That is extreme. No one on the Left is doing anything as extreme as this. The Left is moderate. The Right is extreme. Only one side can win this election. Centrists need to choose a side.

  8. @McGloin Centrists will hopefully choose the side most closely aligned with the Center; in other words, the Democrats.

  9. There can no longer be even the slightest pretense of objectivity or professionalism in the US DOJ under Barr. Trump has long sought to use "MY Justice Dept." as a political weapon to reward his friends & punish his enemies. He fired his first Attorney General, complaining that Jeff Sessions was insufficiently loyal, when Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Barr openly campaigned to be appointed as Sessions' successor by sending Trump an unsolicited letter promising the absolute loyalty Trump demands from everyone in his administration. Barr has delivered, as promised. By insisting that every prosecution of Trump allies is unfair, Trump & Barr have attempted to shield their cronies from any accountability for their misconduct. By contrast, anyone who dared challenge Trump or testify against him when subpoenaed is falsely accused of wrongdoing, in a blatant attempt to intimidate any whistle blowers & sabotage the political prospects of any perceived rival. This unprecedented politicization of the US DOJ poses a serious threat to the integrity of our entire legal system. As unbiased career prosecutors are forced out & replaced with unqualified Trump loyalists, we cannot have any faith that the US DOJ will serve any purpose other than performing as a political weapon for Trump to use without the slightest fear of accountability. Barr has converted his department into the Department of Injustice.

  10. Trump now knows he is above the law. How did we get here? We have an Attorney General that believes in an imperial presidency. Republicans made it clear that it didn't matter what Trump did they would never convict him. Knowing he is above the law he is going to wreak havoc on the country and our allies. To the joy of Putin.

  11. @Al Fisher Barr is not an ideologue who believes in an Imperial Presidency. He is a fixer like Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) in The Godfather. Although, in all likelihood, Hagen was a far more decent man.

  12. @Sparky The imperial Presidency is a way to made the Godfather into a King. Barr does push the "unitary executive" theory as justification for Trump doing whatever he wants.

  13. @Al Fisher And for some reason Democrats refuse to call out Trump for his constant public High Crimes: Trump calls for violence against citizens without due process. Why won't Democrats call that a High Crime? Trump called the Emoluments Clause "phony" while taking Emoluments (payments "of any kind whatever") from foreign governments. How is that not a High Crime? Trump says, "the Press is the enemy of the people," calls for violence against journalists, and even said that body slamming a reporter is a good election strategy. Republican Mueller accused Trump of Federal Felonies, and said, "the Constitution has a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president," so the Democrats called that impeachment referral boring!??? Trump says he could take away birthright citizenship by executive order, contradicting the 14th Amendment. That means he can take away anyone's citizenship and tell them to "go back where you came from." Claiming the ability to exile citizens is not a High Crime? Trump keeps missappropriating funds. Democrats don't call it a High Crime. Trump calls for foreign governs to interfere in our elections, but instead of Impeaching him for asking China to interfere in our elections ON TELEVISION, they Impeach over one secret phone call, and make it seem as complicated as possible, instead of concentrating on the words in the "perfect transcript," which are a blatant quid pro quo. All I see from Democrat is surrender.

  14. Protect our Constitution and Impeach of Fire Barr, whatever it takes. He doesn’t even pretend to care about his reputation or ethics anymore. This is unacceptable and must not stand.

  15. What will happen if King Trump loses the election and refuses to leave office? Whose side will you be on when the Republicans need to be removed?

  16. @Rod After his second term he will leave office and either Ivanka or Don jr will run. The whole clan of them are just as corrupt and hungry for power.

  17. @Rod I'll be glad to use some of my vacation time to help him move out. I'm sure there are millions of others willing to do the same. Even a tick can be dislodged.

  18. @Rod That's a scary thought. Trump could further abuse power by declaring an emergency and martial law. Things I thought could never happen in this country are happening.

  19. Didn't Trump state publicly that he would pardon anybody who broke the law while doing his bidding?

  20. This is bigger than an amoral occupant of our highest office. Listen to Preet’s special podcast, (Stay Tuned With Preet), on this newest outrage. I hope you too agree, this is unacceptable and we, The People cannot stand by and let this happen.

  21. @Ken Yes, we were warned. I guess some of us couldn't believe that a president of the United States would be so corrupt or would seek to rule by striking fear in the hearts of US citizens. I wonder where this man grew up: surely not in a democracy, studying US civics or hearing about Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman and so may of our honorable presidents.

  22. @Lilly Yes. I listened to Preet and Milgram last evening. All Americans should listen and learn from what they say. What is happening is not good for any of us.

  23. "Mr. Trump’s allies have said he has every right as the head of the executive branch to oversee investigations, even those in which he has a personal interest, and that he is trying to correct the political excesses of a law enforcement system he sees as biased against him and his team." OK, but shouldn't a law enforcement system BE biased against people who do illegal, dishonest, immoral things and things harmful to the common good of the American people?

  24. @Robert Tharinger No, it shouldn't. And that's an important difference between progressives and conservatives. Law enforcement is supposed to present all relevant evidence in an unbiased and dispassionate manner and allow a judge or jury to evaluate the facts and when required, determine an appropriate sentence. Allowing political bias into the process is reckless. It now seems that the jury foreman in Stone's trial has been demonstrated to have substantial anti-Trump bias. Was this known to the judge who oversaw the trial, who is currently being criticized ? In addition, several former prosecutors have noted that the sentence is way out of line with other similar cases. Considering that Stone's behavior is a result of pressure from Mueller's team roughly one year after they already knew there was no substance to the Russia Conspiracy farce, it would not be difficult - today - to build a case for falsification of evidence used for warrants, illegal coercion of testimony, and illegal imprisonment of Stone Barr's testimony may backfire on the leftist ideologues who dragged him in rather than waiting for it all to unfold.

  25. @Robert Tharinger "Absolute" Rights vs. obligations Mr. Trump took an oath, the presidential oath, to support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States. He has no "absolute rights". He gave up such rights when he took the presidential oath. What he DOES have is an extensive network of obligations under the presidential obligations he swore to uphold.

  26. @Objectivist Where do you get your “objective” news?

  27. How can a President of a Nation be above the law? A President should be an exampe to the nation. A President and his assistants shoud not be feared, but adored, respected. Here, it is not the case.

  28. @ghisline Hummmm it might help to see who the President thinks are great leaders. Our current POTUS has said he wishes Americans would pay attention to him as the North Koreans do to their Chairman. Or that the "President of Russia" tell him the truth and he believes it. Just an old white man's opinion...

  29. This president thinks we work for him personally when in fact he works for us, and only holds power as king as we allow him to.

  30. @ghisline yea well tell that to all the veggie eating socialist we have here would have more than a few missing brain cells and dont understand that the us constitution makes the president only accountable to congress via the impeachment process were in this case like it or not he was let off to enforce the laws as he sees fit! That’s the cold stone logic of the USA constitution that many of my held brained poorly educated fellow citizens can’t grasp!

  31. This sounds like grounds for another Trump impeachment. I know influencing/undermining the Justice Department in this way is not technically illegal, but my takeaway from the [first] Trump impeachment was that impeachable actions need not be crimes (although not everyone seemed to agree with this). Does it qualify as a high crime or misdemeanor? Does it fall under the category of obstruction of justice?

  32. @Chris I don't believe it will fall under the obstruction of Justice unless the Judge appears to be threatened by Trump. This particular Judge does not seem to be one who caves to threats. As for a high crime or misdemeanor, with the current Trump Party in the Senate, there is nothing that qualifies as a high crime and misdemeanor...the Republicans rescinded that clause when they joined the Trump Party.

  33. @Chris Probably not but, IMHO, it is defintely ABUSE OF POWER

  34. @JG Abuse of power is a ground for impeachment.

  35. American society completely falls apart when there is no longer any basis at all to believe the law is applied fairly. This cannot stand. We have no choice but to act.

  36. We now have the framers worst nightmare: A demagogue enabled and protected by those who are supposed to uphold the Constitution and enforce the law and are, instead, using those things like a cudgel against the demagogue's real and imagined enemies. The United States form of government has crashed and burned, destroyed by those who poise as and call themselves Republicans. The Republic if we can keep it is dead. If Americans want another one, it will require another revolution and probably, like the first one, a bloody one.

  37. @Expat He is enabled by a GOP led Senate. Center, Left and Progressives have to elevate changing the Senate to at least as high a priority.

  38. @Expat I agree with you about the Republicans and the nightmare and the need for drastic change - but no one knows what is going to happen and such predictions and loose talk of war raise the heat without shedding any light - that's what Trump does with his inciting tweets about coups and civil war - try to remain both vigilant and calm

  39. I see no reason whatsoever that Trump will not create an international crisis around October. Don’t forget, he has the nuclear codes in his pocket, in case of his personal emergencies! Somehow it will be necessary to declare a State of Emergency and voila, no election. Everyone should stay home, the election will be postponed until...........

  40. The impeachment has not stopped Trump's march towards dictatorship and the entire Republican Cult party is marching along with him. When that happens Barr will be his right hand man while McConnell will be his chief strategist.

  41. @Elizabeth Wong I'm afraid we're already there.

  42. @Elizabeth Wong Not the entire Republican party. When Homeland Security Investigations pries Mitt Romney out of his Utah bunker to line him up in front of a firing squad, Susan Collins et al. will be weeping and crying, "Oh woe and for shame. We did what we could to save him."

  43. @Elizabeth Wong Yep, and I'm sure there is a place for Susan "I think he's learned his lesson" Collins.

  44. Lev Parnas was so right. There was Trump pre Barr and Trump now with his fixer Barr. People are really afraid of what Trump can do to them now.

  45. and how sadly funny is it that a shady fixer sees that but the GOP Congressional leadership ignores it.

  46. “trump” should be afraid of the majority of Americans that oppose him. We will ultimately rise up and depose him.

  47. It seems both the White House and the Justice Dept have the same objective here, which is to remove a Stone. This Stone is rather large and annoying. A treatment such as shock wave therapy, where high-energy sound waves are directed at the large Stone in order to break it into smaller pieces, isn’t the best answer here. We don’t want to destroy the Stone, just have it go away. Increasing fluid intake may be the best solution in this particular situation. A medical professional should be consulted.

  48. What is particularly concerning is the almost total lack of concern shown by the citizenry as their democracy is shaved away, bit by bit. A generation ago, there would have been large demonstrations at court houses across the country. Not so these days. Silence, not Trump, will be the reason for the fall of the American ideal.

  49. Yes there is a hypnotized quality to this all. Like a cobra coming out of a basket.

  50. These are the stories that need repeated referencing and around which the presidential election will be won. Talking about what the Democratic party wants among candidates will not help. (And by the way, moderates took most of the votes even in liberal NH)

  51. I suppose this is just a confirmation of what everyone knows: justice and the economy are tilted for the rich and well connected.

  52. The President has made it known often enough that when arresting suspects, police officers should feel free to treat them rough 'like in the old days'. The same President is now intervening in a case involving a friend who has been convicted by a jury on serious criminal charges, and is openly proposing leniency in the sentencing and an apology for bringing the charges in the first place. That type of activity is flagrantly in violation of every known protocol in a democratic system founded on the separation of powers and the rule of law. More distressing is the response from the supposedly independent Attorney General, who fell in line with the President's tweeted whim. The President is clearly emboldened by the recent Senate impeachment decision in his favour. The House might do well to consider bringing another impeachment case against him promptly. There is plenty of impeachable material at hand and the President keeps adding to it as every day passes. Offered a second chance, it would be interesting to see whether more Senate Republicans would follow Mitt Romney's lead, given the lawless behaviour they are now witnessing in the White House.

  53. Yes Trump learned something from his impeachment and that is the republicans will do or say nothing to stop his lawlessness. As the days go by to November Mitt Romney will only look more and more like a hero to those that believe in the rule of law and we know that includes no Republican members of the senate save for Romney.

  54. @Chris Romney has not been rejected by the Trump Party as much as was predicted However, he is being monitored. Romney is a conservative Republican, and by his own words has agreed with Trump 80% of the time. Romney can bring hope to the Democrats and Independents by being a light in the midst of the Trump Party darkness. But, will he? Will any Trump Senator listen or are they to far gone?

  55. "Prosecutors across the United States, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals-" If the prosecutors, the Grand Old Party, the Republican Congress and Senate, this Nation, all united, rose up against Trump and his Administration, stood for Justice and the Rule of Law, they could change the course of this Nation. If they continue to let fear rule them will there will be no Republic.

  56. How tragic that none of the Senate Republicans have exhibited the ethics and backbone the four resigning prosecutors have. Our nation is in peril as a functioning democratic republic guided by the rule of law.

  57. The sentencing recommendation was wrong; Trump expressed displeasure. A President with backbone is to be commended.

  58. @Saint Leslie Ann of Geddes In what way can a sentence recommended based on federal guidelines be considered wrong?

  59. @Saint Leslie Ann of Geddes "Trump expressed displeasure. A President with backbone is to be commended." A backbone holds vital human organs upright in a secure position. It preserves and protects the factory that keeps us alive. It also provides a stable base - physical activity pushes off from it. Expression of any kind - pleasure or displeasure - can be described as an outflow, a product that is introduced to the outer world from inside an organism. It requires a minimum amount of physical activity. It only requires the organism to open a one-way exit. All forms of life express products - pleasurable products for procreation, displeasurable products consisting of unwanted elements of digestion as well as processed pathogens. Expression does not require a backbone - ask any amoeba. Expression only requires a path to the outside world. And this current president really knows how to let it loose.

  60. One of the errors that people make is assumption. They assume, for instance, that immigrants are everything that white America says that we are. Lt. Col.Vinman was supposed to acquiesce quietly. He did not and stuck to his job. Knowledge of his family's experiences in his homeland was a likely contributing factor. In his testimony didn't he refer to his father? This officer knows Trumps destiny is related to the behaviour of those around this President. He, Vinman, has staked out his position and is probably shrugging off the expected consequences. Many of us admire him and hope that we can match his behaviour under fire.

  61. Barr says he is fighting to restore a diminished Executive Branch, which is only true while there is a republican sitting in the president’s chair. As soon as a Democrat is elected he will turn all of his current arguments on end to justify why it’s different when a more progressive view is offered. He is a political hack, a disenchanted conservative who misses the power that a certain base had to be comfortable in their control over social issues. Like his president he is just another old guy in his 70 wishing for a return to a pre civil rights and pre birth control America where everyone knew their place.

  62. US ‘justice’ and the ‘rule of law’ are no longer taken seriously around the world. Democracy has given way to crony capitalism. The US has lost the global moral authority that took a century to cultivate.

  63. Our reality show president has turned our government into a never ending episode of Survivor. Now with show trials and immunity idols for his favorites. It's guaranteed ratings and ringside seats for the end of the Republic.

  64. It started with the chants of “lock her up”; chants initially directed at Hillary Clinton, but now aimed at Nancy Pelosi and the Bidens, American citizens neither accused nor convicted of any crime. Trump sees the law not as a means of justice, but as a bludgeon to punish political opponents. Trump’s rally crowds gleefully share the bloodlust. Bill Barr seems more than willing to accommodate Trump, and we probably don’t yet know half the truth about the steps he has taken to interfere in the fair administration of justice on Trump’s behalf. Once we’ve lost the justice system, we are no longer a free people. I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, but we’re certainly on our way.

  65. @Rich Casagrande Unfortunately our past has shown that a Justice System is not always Just. Looking back over time, it was mob rule that created hangings, not justice. It was corrupt leaders in towns, cities, states that created incited the use of mobs to promote justice. Even Rome was not known for its justice system. It was known for its worthless leaders.

  66. “[S]elective mistreatment”? Really? This whole series of events smells like a barnyard, and it truly frightens anyone following it even casually. Comparisons with Nixon’s coverup are hardly overblown, and this miscreant is frighteningly close to pulling it off this time and getting four more years to establish a dictatorship that would make those in the rest of the world look quite benign by comparison. There is some indication that the alarm is sounding among Democrats and that to rid us of this monster it will take campaigning on health care, jobs, wages, and preserving the safety net, not vocally obsessing about the madness at the helm. People want answers to their questions about daily survival, not speeches on this obvious personality disorder some of them think is just being tough. When enough of the personality cult can see another hero with the real toughness and understanding of what’s wrong and the determination to fix it that we saw in FDR, LBJ, and WJC despite their own personal flaws, we might pull out of this tailspin, but we are waiting nervously to hear a winning and moving message, perhaps from people called Amy, Pete, or Mike.

  67. Impeach trump at the ballet box on Nov 3rd. and then throw the book at every associate who has ever been working for the man. Show them that it is a two-way street and that the same laws they tried using to undermine our democracy can and will be used to protect it.

  68. This is just ANOTHER example of President Trump putting Donald Trump ahead of The United States of America. What others you ask? How about his overcharging the Secret Service when they are forced to stay at Trump owned properties? Then you have the changes to the Tax Code that greatly reduced the Taxes paid by The Trump Organization. Here's a question for everyone. How many days after the November elections, no matter what the results, do you think it will take Trump to Pardon Roger Stone and all his other convicted friends and associates?

  69. The only “deep state” we have in this country is the one that Dictator Trump is creating.

  70. Dear American colleague lawyers: “Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.” (Dylan Thomas)

  71. As his unstable imbecility seeps through the bandaids, I wonder if Senate Republicans have seen worse Trumpian ideas which never made it past their ears. I would in no way excuse their cowardice, but maybe he’s been making such demands all along and only now are the people who were “supposed” to be quietly fixing things all gone. Maybe what the GOP doesn’t see is that his thoughts are now taking form, instead of dissipating in the light. Meanwhile, the rest of us see it as Trump becoming worse.

  72. The big difference between Barr’s AG jobs for Bush and now Trump is that now it seems Barr is looking to do favors for Trump so he can win his most coveted job: appointment to the Supreme Court.

  73. Prosecutors should push back or quit. The fight is on this front too.

  74. Interference of a kind once thought unimaginable in our country. Waiting until November? Maybe too late.

  75. I have a brother and sister-in-law who are trump supporters; I cannot for the life of me imagine why, and the only thing they keep coming up with is "the economy is good - the stock market is up". They are people who live paycheck to paycheck and do not have ANY money in the stock market. My sister-in-law keeps saying that I need to "respect the office of the president". I have reminded her hundreds of times RESPECT NEEDS TO BE EARNED. This man is our worst nightmare.

  76. @JG And if someone were to ask his base how their financial lives have improved during Trump's presidency, I wonder what they would say. Something tells even if it's worsened, they'll still say 'the economy is booming.' Some people can more easily be brainwashed. His base seems to attract the majority of them.

  77. @JG It's really hard to understand. The economy was good way before Trump became president. My thought is some just like the guy--how he talks and swaggers and talks about flushing toilets. And the well to do like his rolling back regulations on business and tough talk with China. Meanwhile, the writing is on the wall for the rest of us.

  78. @JG I think JG has hit the nail on the head. It doesn't matter what trump does -- to the law, to the environment, to education, to professional ethics and morals -- as long as the economy is doing well people will vote their pocket-books. We as a nation are selling our souls for a handful of silver.

  79. The President is not required to be a lawyer because he is not a law officer, but only has a limited executive role. He has no authority to direct the law officers in their duties as officers of the court. In that role they owe their duties to the people of the United States via the judges of the United States not via the President. If the President attempts to influence the law officers in relation to their duties to the court, then he does not do so as President but in his personal capacity and it is the most obvious abuse of power. If the law officers were to follow such direction they would be in breach of their obligations to the court and their public duty.

  80. Is there anyone who doubts, if this man is re-elected, that journalists, politicians, and judges, who speak or act in ways which displease Trump, will be arrested and charged with something?

  81. Republican senators who gave Don Trump a pass on impeachment are avoiding the microphones when asked about the Don's growing collection of piked heads. On the matter of Trump's support for convicted felon Roger Stone, these same Republicans smile amiably and say they're too busy to discuss the matter. And then they run – for the exit, for the elevator, for the limo, for the train ... Leadership in flight.

  82. Bottom line, if Donald Trump gets another term, all bets are off. And there's a strong possibility that he will. And the opening acts will be aided and abetted by AG Barr. He of the Imperial Presidency.

  83. America is definitely a lot more than what you say. We have over 300 million people. We have quite a range among ourselves. It is not our goal to live up to Australia’s expectations,, nor any other country. We have serious resources. We have serious brainpower. Do not underestimate us. The caricature of “American” you hold in your mind is extremely limited.

  84. Impeachment, or the disregard of its seriousness by the Republicans, has a price. Trump is going to press his fortune and now Republicans will go down in history for their cowardly act. America is about the rule of law. Alas, you look at the scene now, they are applied selectively. The admin wants to investigate Harvard's donations, especially from the Chinese, the Saudis and the Russian. Guess what, Trump & family dealings with Saudi Arabia and Russia are swept under the rug. America is in serious trouble and people are still fiddling

  85. @Bos if America was the rule of law, many folks from the Obama administration would be incarcerated. The problem is a two-tiered justice system that is based on politics.

  86. If career prosecutors had not came out with an absurd politically motivated sentence recommendation, then the political appointees that the democratic process put in place to oversee them would not have had to step in.

  87. @Ambrose Rivers federal sentencing guidelines are not political. They are statutory and used daily in federal courts across the country. Congress is the vehicle to change them. Just last year, sentencing guideline reform occurred with crack cocaine sentencing.

  88. @PParker The kind of spin you are perpetuating must stop. There actually are facts, such as the prosecutors did not just decide on the sentence out of their heads they did use a clear set of guidelines. No amount of saying the sentencing they recommended was unfair is going to make that the case. The use of ‘alternate facts’ must stop. Otherwise your democracy is doomed.

  89. @Ambrose Rivers False. Educate yourself. Stone committed real crimes. And serious ones. He was convicted by a jury. The prosecutors recommendations were based on apolitical sentencing guidelines. Please turn off Fox News and realize the danger Trump and his administration pose to this country.

  90. A "normal" President would not intervene in the prosecution of a friend of his, or have his AG do so, in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety. But we're talking about Trump the man of 16,000+ lies. He will simply deny the appearance of impropriety as well as the impropriety itself.

  91. @Jay Orchard A normal President would simply withhold all comment until the case was over.

  92. Ardent supporters of the 2nd Amendment don't seem to realize it (yet), but this is the very same kind of government they are afraid of. How ironic.

  93. @Mr. Jones They don’t realize their guns will be of zero value against our armed military and security forces targeting citizens. These security forces which have more weapons, money and ability than the top nations combined. If focused inward to this country would create a police state the likes of which no one is safe. Past Trump is a greater threat. The person who takes up the reigns after him. He is simply an ignorant battering ram.

  94. Let's face it, this is not how an Attorney General is supposed to act. Barr is functioning more like a mob's lawyer than a conventional Attorney General. I am now absolutely convinced that the Trump administration will go down in U.S. history as one of the most corrupt -- if not the most corrupt -- administration to have ever existed. These are very strange times indeed and we all need to let our congressional representatives know exactly how we feel. Trump was not elected to be our "Dictator-in-Chief". Our Founders were smart by setting up three separate but equal branches of government. This is a Democracy and not a Dictatorship. Trump and his henchmen must be held to account!

  95. @Mike B. It depends on who gets to write that history.

  96. Hillary Clinton was right when she spoke of a “vast Right Wing conspiracy”. What we are seeing right now is the very definition of a conspiracy; Trump, Barr, McConnell and many other Republicans are conspiring to absolutely shred the Constitution. Are we really so sure there will even be fair elections in November? Who needs to blame Russia when our own Attorney General seems to be acting as an agent of autocracy?

  97. @Dudesworth Yes. Conspiracies are not always secret. You don't shred the Constitution by sneaking into the Library of Congress and ripping up the actual document. You shred the Constitution by violating it in public again and again, until everyone understands that it no longer protects them. This is what the Right is doing from the Oval Office. You can't win unless you show we the people that Democrats are the OPPOSITE of these extremists. Hiding in the center pretending to have no opinion just helps them win. Putting another lying, manipulative billionaire up against Trump is a losing strategy. Democrats are playing softball (and yelling at their own left fielders and any batters that actually try to hit a home run) while Republicans are driving tanks around the field and calling for violence from their fans. The umpires keep asking the Democrats to enforce the rules. We the Fans need to decide what kind of game we want, because if the Right wins this election, they will start driving tanks around the stands. You cannot win this election unless you explain what the Constitution actually says, and why it says it. Fight for the Constitution to WIN!

  98. The Republicans who acquitted Trump, have in essence disbanded the Republican Party. In effect, they have become the Party of Trump. Who in a political party would ever vote against the person the Party is named after, certainly not the Senators who created the Party. In this case, it appears that the Justice Department leaders have aligned with the Trump Party. We could second guess why from now till the end of time, and still wouldn't have the 'straight' answer as to why. What is worrisome is the reality that the Trump Party has already determined that there is nothing Trump can do wrong to be impeached. He must be voted out of office. The Stone case is one that is not a real surprise, it is what to expect of Trump and the Trump Party since the beginning of Trumps term. What is a concern; what happens if Trump loses in November? What will be his actions from the moment of loss until he walks out of the White House? What will the Trump Party do at that time, how much will they get away with? As each section of government is quietly taken over by Trump, and his friends, and the Trump Party...will Barr declare some form of Martial Rule due to Trumps declaration of an unfair, corrupted election--will the Justice Department be totally corrupted by then? All agreeing to Trump as a chosen leader.

  99. Trump’s interference is out of bounds but I don’t see any discussion of the crime vs the sentence and whether it is actually fair. Seems like every NYT story involving Trump results in a dramatic prediction that the end of democracy is at hand. Let’s disregard Trump for a moment and objectively consider whether the punishment fits the crime.

  100. @Mark The article clearly states the four prosecutors recommended the sentences based on federal guidelines. They didn’t pull them out of thin air.

  101. @Mark typically crimes like this merit up to 50 years so 7-9 seems more than reasonable.

  102. @Mark ....which is neither up to the President nor us. I don’t think that “the street” should have any saying in the sentencing of anyone - and that is exactly why there are career prosecutors. Their job is to follow guidelines and not political or whatsoever motivations.

  103. The Pres did nothing corrupt or lawless. He expressed an opinion. Some disagree with this action , some feel he has the right to express this opinion. The thought that a Federal prosecutor is cowed because the Pres expresses an opinion is just absurd. The Pres has no power to intervene in the process nor has he taken any action to injure any prosecutor. We elect Presidents to express opinions . It is not a crime.

  104. @Sceptical: Don't be ridiculous. Firing Comey and smearing Mueller is not "taken an action to injure a prosecutor"? I guess you'd only considered them injured if Trump had shot them on Fifth Avenue and even then you'd have argued Trump was right...

  105. @Sceptical We elect presidents to follow the rule of law. If President Obama had done this you and the entire right would be screaming in outrage. This is today's Republican hypocrisy.

  106. @Sceptical ...and that is exactly how “mobsters” work.

  107. Prosecutors have nothing to fear but fear itself.

  108. @NYChap And the chosen one, the unstable genius, the worst president EVER!

  109. Trump did learn something from the Ukraine scandal after all. Instead of exerting pressure on officials to do his bidding by offering a quid pro quo he now simply pressures them without offering anything in exchange.

  110. After the way Republicans, except Romney, acted in the impeachment vote, Trump and future presidents will have much more leeway to trammel institutional norms and, eventually, the rights of citizens. I just wonder what people will say when Democrats use a this new overreach to battle climate change, liberalize the border, and enact major gun control. The president should get what he wants after all. Though I suppose voter suppression and the electoral college will make sure the GOP never fall from power.

  111. Our democracy or justice system was never perfect. However, instead of improving and correcting the fault in the system, Trump, Barr and GOP senate have corroborated to break the system for worse. We will survive the corruption of Trump and his accomplices, but it will take a long time to reverse the course. Every citizen should be afraid of what is going on in our government and be proactive in removing these rats for the future of the country and our children.

  112. Goodbye America - it’s been really great, I’ve had fun and learned a lot - but it’s over xx

  113. I'm mexican. Many times I heard and read that my country was a banana republic at a great distance with established democracies like the United States. The fundamental change between the two nations was their institutions. Institutions are the strength of a country and their weakness undermines democracy. Trump's rise to power is a brutal change to the institutionality of the United States, the counterweights between powers disappeared and everything is dictated by one voice, that of the executive. Today I see in the United States the same authoritarian practices, almost dictatorial, that I saw for many years in Mexico, so when I hear or read again that my country is a banana republic I will not stop smiling at the thought that the United States became one and of worse stew than anyone we have suffered in Mexico. How did the people allow this to happen?

  114. The rapidity with which Trump has been able to dismantle the rule of law, with the help of a compliant Senate shows how restrained the Obama administration was through the years of democratic majority in Senate.

  115. The Roger Stone case is one where the sentence recommendation far exceeded DOJ sentencing guidelines (see those for rape, armed robbery, etc.). Try using facts, rather than revenge, to examine whether the prosecutorial bias was fair. A Trump-hating world is one where politicized justice is perfectly acceptable (Comey and McCabe both lying to Congress, FISA abuses, Brennan and Clapper lying to Congress - all gone unpunished). While it's popular to maliciously characterize AG Barr in the most irresponsible and legally erroneous ways, do you truly prefer mob rule of the DOJ?

  116. @J Brian ....Mr.Trump and Mr.Barr appear to install just that “mob rule”.

  117. @J Brian "The Roger Stone case is one where the sentence recommendation far exceeded DOJ sentencing guidelines " Nope - "seven to nine years, in line with nonbinding federal sentencing guidelines" Try using facts yourself sometime!

  118. This is just the latest outrage; nothing will happen and nothing will change. Stay tuned - the next outrage is nigh.

  119. Trump will now stack the DOJ with subpar lawyers from those evangelical law "schools" he loves so much, where knowledge of the law and honesty are no longer required.

  120. The Washington Post has it wrong when it says “democracy dies in darkness.” In the Trump era, democracy is dying in the bright light of day and we are powerless to stop it because of cowering, Republican sycophants. If Trump is not defeated in November, America will be lost. I will vote for whoever is the Democratic nominee, regardless of policies, age, religion or sexual preference.

  121. @William This coming election America will be fighting for its life. I, too, believe if Trump wins America is lost. I've never been so scared, and I've never been more amazed that so many Americans have no idea what is going on, especially that it is happening right out in the open where it is seen.

  122. People should watch the Showtime series Billions, loosely based on the activities of Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It shows Justice Department attorneys using their government offices to advance their personal political agendas. Aren't these the attorneys who put young black men in jail for decades while white collar criminals go to country club prisons for a few months. Since when did liberals defend the Justice Department? There is a limitless pool of individuals who could be put in jail for what Stone did, why Stone instead of all the Democratic operatives who did as bad or worse? Lets stop being hypocrites. Using the Justice Department to attack Trump and his allies is as bad or worse than what you are accusing him of.

  123. According to you there are limitless people who are obstructing official proceedings, lying to Congress (under oath) and witness tampering? No, the man did wrong and should be punished for it, thats how a nation of laws works. even if there are a multitude of people committing similar crimes, they are still crimes and need to be punished. #rightmatters

  124. Isn’t this one of many saddening episodes that American democratic system is and will be producing? We should remember that the liar in the White House got enough votes (while short of national majority).

  125. I wonder what the judge in this case makes of this. I wonder what judges across America make of this. I wonder what Trump will do if he regards Stone's sentence to be too high. (I don't really wonder, I think we all know what Trump will do). I wonder if there's a numerical record of all the judges Trump's administration has appointed. I wonder to what extent judges will fight to maintain judicial independence.

  126. They are willing to destroy America in order to control it, leaving a wake of debris. Men like these have existed through history and exist all over the world. We Americans thought we were immune.

  127. In my opinion Trump's dictatorial plan is almost complete. It builds on decades of Republican groundwork. Voters valuing democracy must be totally clear about the fact that they have the fight of their lives on their hands. This is not an ordinary election. 1. Gerrymandering is common in many places. 2. Democrate leaning voters are increasingly prevented from voting. 3.Control of many state legislatures is now in the hands of what should be recognized as right wing extremists. 4.The courts have over decades been actively stacked with Republican leaning judges. Even the Supreme Court's impartiality is seriously in question. 5. The Senate has been eviscerated to the point that it refuses to look at the information central to impeachment. 6. Republican Senators have condoned foreign interference in US elections to serve their purpose. 7. The electoral college favours Republicans. 8. Facebook & Cambridge Analytica highlights the lengths that Republican kingmakers are willing to go to subliminally manipulate how people think. 9. Republican allies own most of the media and drive his agenda. 10. Trump actively undermines public trust in Government. 11. He has secured a strong funding base to finance his campaign by giving tax breaks for the rich. 12. The Reps are ruthless and will use the "hang the dead chicken around their neck mentality" (see previous Daily Podcast) to discredit their opponents. Many will vote for this society if it means they have a job.

  128. After three years of attacking the media, trying to instill in his base the idea that all news, other than from Faux News, is Fake, he is turning his anti-democratic, autocratic sights on the next threat to a dictatorship, the machinery of justice. Toady Barr has traded his title of AG for that of VG. The last time a Vicar General ran a "justice" system was the Inquisition, the ultimate machinery for enforcing a whites only, religious theocracy. It fits: After all, Trump believes he is the "Chosen one".

  129. @The Lone Protester After the machinery is in place he will be removed. Trump is just a tool.

  130. The prosecution recommended a longer sentence than the norm and were politically biased. That’s why Barr stepped in. As for Trump he didn’t comment until a week later. Ultimately the choice on the sentencing will be made the judge, however the prosecutors who resigned will be investigated. The constitution isn’t under fire, the lefts abuse of our legal system is.

  131. @JOSEPH Actually, the seven to nine years recommended by four career prosecutors was in line with federal sentencing guidelines. So that's clearly NOT why Barr stepped in. And Trump commented just hours before Barr intervened, not "a week later." Your disregard of the facts is astounding. (Although I should be getting used to it these days.) And you say that the four prosecutors will be investigated. Do you realize that you are supporting using the machinery of government to assault political enemies? That is something we are used to seeing in dictatorships around the world.

  132. I fear for the future of America. I never used to.

  133. Here we are, with a President Trump unhinged. Scary times. Clearly the Republicans won’t reign him in, and the front runner Dem for the White House is a 78 year old socialist who can only speak with a fist raised in the air.

  134. We should just let The Leader decide sentencing. And get rid of that useless group of legislators that can’t seem to pass laws!

  135. I was brought up to believe America was the ideal democracy. It’s no more than a corrupt, corporate entity.

  136. @One Person One Vote I don't understand sentiments like this. The Voting Rights Act wasn't passed until 1965, so America was hardly the ideal democracy prior to that. Citizens United was passed in 2010, so America has hardly been an ideal democracy since then. We can claim 45 years, max, as an ideal democracy, if you can ignore voter suppression and extreme gerrymandering during that era.

  137. @One Person One Vote It's not a democracy, it's a republic.

  138. But see, we were brought up BELIEVING in something, an ideal. Now we don’t even have a belief to hang on to.

  139. As a former prosecutor I can honestly say that this is a chilling decision by the justice department. All prosecutors throughout the US should go on strike in solidarity. I know it will not happen but this is a major injustice. And please remember, that in Federal Court, the prosecutors and defense attorneys can ask for what they want BUT, it is only a recommendation and the Judge can do as he/she pleases. Let’s hope the Judge does what is right and then let Trump pardon him. Then Americans can see the injustice up front and center.

  140. @Unbelievable Chilling but no surprise. There is not a shred of doubt that we will become, courtesy of the GOP, a full-fledged dictatorship... regardless who gets the most votes in November, Trump is staying in office. Forever. The noose/net will draw very tight after November (judges will be intimidated, jailed, etc).

  141. @Unbelievable And you've never, ever seen a case of prosecutorial misconduct, or tainted juries, either. Right ?

  142. @Unbelievable Americans saw and heard a man who said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still hold office. He is a vile man and wiggled out of the Mueller and impeachment hearings. I can't imagine him ever deciding something for "we the people" if it didn't serve his interest. As Leonard Cohen says "there is a crack in everything and that is how the light gets in". We need to work harder than ever to elect a person who knows how to expand that crack and let the truth be heard once again.

  143. Just what we need - those educated in law, practicing law, upholding law - afraid to practice law because of this corrupt, lawless president. This is America? If Donald Trump lives in our White House much longer I suggest no one in this country encourage or support their loved ones to join the military service and be willing to lay down their lives for this country. This has become, in three years, a country no longer worth dying for or fighting for. My dad, a WWII veteran would never believe I’d ever say that. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to Arlington Cemetery again after this administration has cast its toxicity over us all. I feel so sorry for my husband, a disabled veteran, going to the VA Hospital for medical treatment with this administration now that has abused power and everything else for its own selfish corruption. Lawlessness.

  144. @MIMA As a foreigner I'll probably never understand the American justice system. I used to believe that separation of power was fundamental to the US democracy. Is there maybe a book "USA for Dummies"?

  145. @MIMA We buried my father-in-law yesterday who fought in and survived the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. When the honor guard presented the flag to his widow and stated that it was given in thanks from the President, I wanted to throw up. My f father-in-law survived that deadliest American battle -- and those who didn't, surely didn't give their lives to have a president like Trump use the power of his office for his own repeated and egregious personal pleasure.

  146. @Hope Hope, I am so sorry for you. We understand, and it saddens us beyond imagination. Our dad’s were just so young, idealistic, depending on their buddies just like them, to defend their country. Franklin Roosevelt would be writhing! Along with us. MIMA

  147. I prefer presidents who respect the separation of powers. Let’s elect one.

  148. @Karen Lee Let's hope that if Trumpolini manages to steal another election, he's hog-tied by a Blue Senate and House. There is no limit to the number of times a corrupt President can be impeached.

  149. @Karen Lee This is the Department of Justice, not the Judicial Branch. DOJ is within the Executive Branch and as chief executive Trump is lawfully entitled to request the review of any case, open or closed. This has nothing whatsoever to do with separation of powers. If prosecutors don't want their decisions reversed then they shouldn't allow their own political bias to find its way into their professional conduct.

  150. @Karen Lee. What separation of powers are you referring to? The Prosecutors at Justice are part of the same branch? And all hand-wringing aside, it is not inappropriate for a President to communicate with his AG about a high profile injustice. Do you think President Kennedy ever communicated with his AG—his brother Robert Kennedy, about how the Justice Department was pursuing a case? Of course he did. This is going to come up empty for the Dems (again). Less emotion; more rational thought is what Dems need to focus on.

  151. Fellow Americans: Welcome to fascism. This is what it looks like.

  152. We’ve seen what Trump can do in one week with the freedom to do whatever he wants. It’s 8 whole months to the hoped-for election. Plenty of time to start a war, declare a state of emergency and “postpone” the election. And take over the media to make sure all citizens get important updates on the “emergency.” Buckle up, folks. We’re counting votes in the primaries while Trump’s machine is oiling up the tank treads.

  153. Death penalty for innocent black kids. No penalty for wealthy white criminals. Thats' America. That's Trump. The point though is obvious, Trump is not president despite his racism and rank ignorance, he is president precisely because of his racism and rank ignorance. Trump as raised political awareness to a near fever pitch. Everyone is aware of the corruption whether they support it or are nauseated by it. That he has made the corruption so obvious in the end will be his legacy and will probably, hopefully, help to make a better America in the long run. He is very much like a putrid eruption spewing puss and blood that lets you know the body is sick. Treatment is necessary and it takes a little time and care. But America will heal. It had better or there could be little America left in the future.

  154. That the President is controlling the Justice Department is clearly wrong. But what is more frightening in this particular case is that Roger Stone was convicted in a court of law in association with the President himself. So, in essence, the President is absolving crimes that he was involved in, directly or not. How can this be acceptable in any state of a democracy?

  155. @Angel Adams The answer lies in the question. Because of the Senates actions we are no longer a republic nor a democracy at this moment. We can hope the elections go as planned. But there are no guarantees. We know red states are compromised with corruption directly attacking the voters ability to participate. They may see it as a green light to go further though. The Republican Party and those that fund them and promote their think tanks can not be trusted.

  156. @Mathias Yes,that is a huge problem and has been for a problem. Recall the election between Gore and Bush. Hard to deny that Gore was the true winner. So excuse me as an outsider for sticking my nose in American issues, but I see two steps in this process. First, defeat Donald Trump. Who can do it? Bloomberg, in my opinion. And that's a tough call because I really like Joe Biden. Second, when the Democrats come back to power, number one priority is to eliminate gerrymandering and the like. That is, under the assumption that democracy has not been eroded to the point of no return. But I have great faith in Pelosi, Schiff, and other Democrats that democracy can and will be restored. I never really got 'God bless America' but I do now. May He/She keep Democracy strong in America and the world over.

  157. If prosecutors have done nothing wrong and have a clear conscience and not been partisan, why should they fear pressure from DJT? To apply FDR's quote they have nothing to fear but fear itself.

  158. Well, to be fair, they are probably also afraid of vindictive behavior by the president.

  159. As a notary public, I would face a fine and jail time for notarizing a document that would financially benefit me. I also cannot refuse to notarize a document that I've no reason to believe has false information. Fine and jail time, again. From way down here, looking way up there at the mighty and powerful who've sworn similar oaths to fellow American citizens, the role modeling is just atrocious.

  160. America is now a wholly owned criminal enterprise. It does not matter what happens in Nov 2020 - GOP will simply obstruct like they did to Obama for 8 years - our corrupt system encourages it. We quietly join the long list of Banana Republics throughout history. I know it is exactly what GOP wants to hear, but I simply no longer care about this country. We had our shot at being an example for the world - we have failed 1 million times.

  161. George W. Bush must be loving every minute of this. His Presidency looks better and better all the time in the eyes of historians everywhere.

  162. Let’s face it, pre-Barr, legal professionals loved Trump. Who benefits from the Trump, the Kushner’s? The Times claims “Fear?” Nuts. There’s always an innocent poor person to prosecute. Prosecutors can still have that. Artificial Intelligence would worked better with Roger Stone’s case, rent seeking lawyers exist.

  163. The sentence was purely vindictive and based on nothing beyond Trump=bad. Punish. Can't wait to see more heads roll as the tables have turned.

  164. If imposing a 7-9 year sentence on a 70 year old for "obstructing" an investigation that after two years of prosecutorial abuse proved to be meritless is a "position uniformly accepted and promoted by the career prosecutors” than I think it's way over due they got knocked down a peg or two. To infer that William Barr has succumbed to politics is laughable when innumerable prosecutors have used their office and heretofore unchecked power as a stepping stone to political office. How soon we forget that former presidential candidate bragged about putting poor black kids in jail for smoking pot to prove her "law and order" bona fides and then laughed about her own use. At the other end of the spectrum we have the Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein "prosecutors"of the world who for a little campaign cash and a favor here and there are more than happy to provide get out of jail cards. There are plenty of prosecutors within the JustUs department that have an agenda and routinely abuse the authority granted them to achieve it. Rather than wait for them to resign, I hope Barr fires them.

  165. "This is how democracy ends, to thunderous applause" Trump and his toadies are cheering. Little do his minions know that Trump will turn his power on them and the permissible deviations from absolute loyalty to Trump will not be tolerated. There is a chance in November to end this. Yet, I have the feeling that there will not be an election in November. Trump will declare the constitution, congress illegal and declare martial law with him standing in his Six Star uniform as military dictator backed by his loyal minions who will take glee in killing, maiming and torturing anyone who dare utter an unkind word against their "Dear Leader." Let the cheering begin.

  166. I’ve come to the conclusion, that the cheers are DEMANDED by the dictator in the WH. What can the people do that the Republicans can’t? We can vote them ALL out! Granted, the blind sheep following him can’t see the truth right in front of them. Our government is turning into a Hitler-like dictatorship. Trumps hatred of our country has been shown so many times, but his sheep see none of it!

  167. @LI RES, et al., Unfortunately, there are about 30% of Americans who gleefully cheer Trump. They think that he, and he alone, is the answer to all of their problems, both real and perceived (this being the dominant fear). The removal of Trump only gets rid of the symptom of a much deeper problem in America. There is an enraged portion of the population that feels it is loosing out and to be sure, they are but not for the reasons that they assume to be correct. That the Democrats are unwilling to listen to their pain is part of the Democratic problem. Everyone has a plan, a solution, but nobody is actually listening to a portion of We-the-People and right now, they support Trump because he says what they want to hear and is selling them one of the biggest con-jobs on the planet. (Unfortunately, those who quit only make room for more toadies.)

  168. I’m starting to feel that I live in some sort of bizarre alternate universe. Between the banana republicans on the federal level who have turned ethics and integrity upside down and the democrats who now control NYS government and have rushed changes on a number of criminal justice and DMV issues without thought as to consequences simply because they can. The self serving, unreasonable and petty vindictiveness of both sides is sickening.

  169. Smoke and mirrors, the DOJ and prosecutors had a deal and when they went to court they changed it and the reason Barr stepped in. It's always best to have the whole story, but with Trump 450-0 against Democrats, I understand the urgency lol

  170. This is the most frightening statement in this piece: "...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." It means that even Justice Department officials are self-censuring themselves in doing their jobs and looking the other way instead of rocking the boat. Much like the National Archives folks, who eliminated anti-Trump signage from a photo so as not to anger the president, these people are not waiting to be told what to do. They know what is expected and they are doing it on their own. Now THAT is real power, silencing workers without having to say or do a thing.

  171. @avrds This kind of self censorship is what you in see in China. It is cultivated and encouraged by corrupt leadership to maintain their power. It erodes freedom of thought and the foundations of a society. It should not exist in the United States.

  172. @Winston Churchill Yes and Russia. Watch Chernobyl to see what happens when a country puts lies above truth and science..

  173. @avrds Yes, this is truly appalling. Even if, arguendo, the recent actions and statements of Trump, Barr, and the prosecutors are mere "serendipitous" coincidence, the APPEARANCE of their actions is not of any importance to this administration. NY Times, please do a piece surveying the effect of burgeoning dictatorships on their then-existing judicial systems. My recollection is that certain German government attorneys/bench officers/judiciary, early on in the Nazi regime, also "retired" rather than remain under the Reich's thumb.

  174. Trump is a malignant narcissist as soon as people accept this and understand this about him the better. He should be removed from office he is dangerous and will become more so now that the Senate and the GOP have given him permission to anything he wants and Barr is his enabler. He’s just getting started and he’ll use the military next.

  175. What a banana republic! What lackey's and tail waggers! Leadership by Twitter! A great time to be a criminal if you're a Republican. I get that mot Republicans are empty cans in the ethics department, and will ride the Trump horse long past dead, but have they no shame in destroying the country many people died to protect and uphold? Why ask? Barr, should resign and just get hired to Trump's legal team with Rudy et al.

  176. What starts out crazy only gets crazier... Time to boycott/block Twitter. Take away Trump's bully stick. Let's quit whining and do what our elected officials won't do: stop the madness.

  177. Bill Barr makes John Mitchell look like St. Francis of Assisi.

  178. This is life in mobland. Those who show proper allegiance are allowed to keep their jobs. Those who refuse to do what the boss wants, or go against him in any way, are dismissed. The base are good with it because they don't think it will affect them. But then one day they're asked to pay for being protected. If they say, no, bad things happen. Is this the America you want? It's what you're getting if you don't stop him in Nov. And don't count on him playing honest. You already know he'll try to cheat.

  179. Total NYT baloney. Sentencing recommendations to Federal Judges are exactly that. Lifetime appointed judges have the last say subject, of course, to any appeal to a panel of lifetime appointed judges. This entire line of hyperactive handwringing and hand waving is total and unequivocal baloney. Moreover, the President has the absolute and unequivocal authority to commute sentences. So, calm down and grow up.

  180. Go ahead commute or pardon. Won't be before elections since it would obviously crooked. Or is he not macho?

  181. Quote from article: "To career prosecutors around the country, the Stone case raised new fears of what is to come." Not "some" career prosecutors but simply "career prosecutors" gives the impression that it is a wide majority. The next sentence states "according to conversations with more than a dozen career lawyers . . ." Are those 12 then the majority?? As of December 2016 there were over 1.3 million attorneys. For me this kind of journalism is totally populistic.

  182. Almost every day, we are presented with facts (True, as opposed to the others) which can only be responded to with "Unbelievable" - and then more come tumbling in... 🙁🙁🙁

  183. Barr has already destroyed his reputation, Now he's trying to take the country down with him.

  184. William Mitchel Barr.

  185. What they did to Roger Stone is disgraceful. Who stands up for his rights when they are viciously attacked?

  186. Defense attorneys. Too bad, so sad they failed to move to jury of his peers.

  187. @TravelingProfessor His defense attorneys stand up for his rights - to the extent the law allows. Stone was convicted by a jury of his peers. That is how justice is supposed to work, regardless of your politics. This was multiple felonies. Open your eyes man. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  188. @Jota The jury was tainted - a partisan Democrat.

  189. When patriots are treated so disrespectively, so shabily, and there is no outcry from our politicians, the press and most importantly the people, we are most certainly a fallen nation.

  190. This year we must work to remove the stable genius (SG) by a landslide so that he and the GOP understand we want him out. We must prepare in case the SG wins via the EC by working to get control of both chambers of Congress. We can then impeach and remove the SG and his henchman Barr. BUT we can’t wait until the election in November! We need to be protesting in the streets around the country to let these corrupt people know that we won’t allow them to destroy our Republic. Most importantly we need to let those who are working in the Justice Dept. and other agencies know that we the people support their efforts to protect our Republic. Massive demonstrations will let them know that we have their backs!

  191. Trump won’t be President forever, he’ll eventually return to his grubby realestate business. When he no longer has the power to take down decent people that get in his way, I can only hope someone has the inclination to take him down.

  192. Trump destroys yet another tenet of the Republican Party — law and order.

  193. Trump, Barr and McConnell are the most dangerous threesome in America history. Can we survive another four years with these guys in office? I’m not sure we can make it after one year. Vote blue no matter who is not just a pithy saying, it’s what we need to do for our very survival - literally.

  194. Welcome to Trumpian-GOP lawlessness, very similar to Kremlin-managed law, where the oligarchs and their friends get out of jail for free....and the rest of us are subject to the spite, vengeance and corrupt ill will of the czar. Heckuva' job, GOP. November 3 2020

  195. @Socrates All that remains is for this Amerikan czar to start shooting, poisoning, and throwing perceived enemies out of hotel windows.

  196. @Socrates The way things are , I am not holding my breath for November 2020. I think he will get re- elected. Muricans will make sure of that.

  197. All it took was one slick charlatan from New York City to completely disrupt our political system and upend our beliefs about justice. How did our country become so fragile so quickly?

  198. People...please start referring to trump as "Impeached" president* trump. Ensure correct titles are used going forward. For example, President Obama, President Clinton, etc. Thank you.

  199. From the very beginning of the Mueller hoax, this paper was front and center, always always always promoting and assisting in all ways it could, the lie that Mr. Trump colluded with Russia. From the start of the impeachment hoax, the insane assertion that his actions, no matter what your political affiliations, somehow amounted to such a drastic initiative, this paper was there, and as before always promoting and advancing the assumption, the lie. Never once did any reporter from this paper seriously investigate the relationship between the "whistle blower" and Mr. Schiff. Was there ever a hoard of reporters digging into that? Never from this paper. Never. Now we are treated to this. Another banner headline from the New York Times claiming that President Trump has committed some other dangerous action. I don't think until this paper effectively cleans itself of the obvious and entrenched prejudice against Mr. Trump and his millions and millions of supporters, until the involvement of this paper in the past attempted coups is admitted and revealed for all to view, until that happens, this paper and the democrat party will be seen by most people as one and the same.

  200. Every hour of every day Trump does something more to destroy the government of the US. Bill Barr and the GOP Senators are either hiding their heads in the sand so they don’t have to admit anything about it or are directly aiding Trump’s behavior. Either way they are gutless enablers of a tyrant. I used to be a Republican now I am disgusted with the whole lot.

  201. Read the Stone indictment yourselves and then tell me if the case would have been brought by an objective prosecutor.

  202. @Mom Have you read it? Really? Those who know do not speak, those who speak do not know

  203. @Jota Yes, it's not very long.

  204. The problem isn't so much that Barr countermanded the decision of line prosecutors: many decisions about trials are made jointly with top and middle level Justice Dept. employees. The problem is that Trump countermanded Barr's decision. In a high profile case like this Barr must have known (or should have known) what sentence prosecutors were going to ask for, and by presumably not objecting, he had given his tacit approval. Then came Trump's tweet, and everything changed.

  205. @LSR Perhaps you weren't aware that the prosecutors mislead (LIED) to the DOJ about what they were going to recommend. Its all a set up by the prosecutors because they knew exactly how the press would spin it all.

  206. Trump alleged there was a slow motion coup against his presidency. Instead Trump is leading a slow motion coup against the Constitution. As he subverts every cultural and democratic norm, Americans have to decide what is more important; a pyramid-scheme economy that appears to be booming or a Constitution that insures democracy. With Trump, we can’t have both.

  207. @DO5 The justice department is under the executive branch. The court system is not. Prosecutors are in the justice department, not the court system. Perhaps you should actually read the constitution.

  208. Like I've said before, it's the king's enablers who do the most damage to our system of governance and norms. They don't have to do it; they wish to please the king.

  209. @Ed 1789.

  210. “Prosecutors across the United States, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals...” Read that sentence a few times. This is an absolute crisis. Trump is consolidating power and the GOP is going full authoritarian. The presidential race is the least of concerns.

  211. This sounds to me like McCarthyism. The right complains of progressive litmus tests but the real sticklers has always been the far right. Are we to expect the same sort of pinky accusations, blackballing of writers, actors, and intellectuals? Will this include scientists researching the environment, stem cell research or anything else the far right condemns with no sound evidence based argument? If prosecutors cave so quickly, this is what this will come to. Maybe the only answer is for all prosecutors to leave hamstringing the department that would become unable to find even enough hacks to do their dirty work.

  212. At this point , Trump’s fellow Republicans have been riding the wave , reveling in the chaos overcoming and virtually ignoring any norms and protocols. I do think this will get tiresome, they’ll become brainless “ yes men” and their constituents won’t see the value in voting for a a party that caters to the whims of a Dictator ... not to the people.

  213. Donald Trumpf and William Barr are more deadly than the Coronavirus; they are rotting our Democracy from the inside.

  214. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter. The majority, or very close to a majority, clearly desire a dictator, not a democracy. Like the president, they do not read, apparently have never studied history and are blind to the guaranteed results of their ignorance. They don't understand the concept of separation of powers. They are obsessed with hatred, for minorities, different religions and different sexual persuasions. America is in trouble. As once predicted, fascism is coming not with tanks but wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. Be afraid- be very afraid.

  215. @Disillusioned very well said, great quote too. It took 244 years for a king to return to the throne of America, but now we have one! The question is how do we rid ourselves of him? Will the arc of the law bend towards justice? What form will the American Revolution of the 21st century take? And what will become of all the Tories?

  216. @Robert M. Koretsky Without a voting revolution, the only revolution I fear will be the Trumpers protesting a legitimate loss of the next election. Witness the recent gun toters in Virginia at an anti gun legislation rally. This nation confuses the right to bear arms with the right to behave as if the romanticized version of the wild, wild west were appropriate for a time and civilization such as we have today.

  217. Trump, Barr, another chip in the stone of democracy.

  218. Just like in any other banana republic people will start taking justice into their own hands.

  219. There is no "justice" department today. It is no more than a weapon for this traitor in our White House to attack anyone who does not kneel to his greatness. The current "Republican" party has totally abdicated its responsibility and have put themselves and party over country. I never thought I would see this happen in our nation. I pray that we survive as a democracy.

  220. The punishment being recommended clearly does not fit the crime. Rapists on average get four years. Assault with a deadly weapon, usually less! It seems to me this is a continuation of the Russian collusion hoax. Will the Democrats ever stop?

  221. Democrats? Robert Mueller is a Republican. Roger Stone was tried and convicted by a jury selected from the population. It’s how our justice system is supposed to work.

  222. You might have noticed that he was convicted of 7 different crimes, and executive branch interference in a sentencing matter is truly scary stuff—no matter which political side you favor.

  223. @Greg Waradzin So when President Obama reduced the sentence of convicted spy Chelsea Manning, from 35 years to six years you were OK with that?