Trump Praises Barr for Rejecting Punishment Recommended for Stone

The president dismissed criticism that the Justice Department had acted inappropriately in overruling the recommendation of its own prosecutors in the case of his longtime friend.

Comments: 192

  1. If lying were a crime, this guy would get a thousand life sentences in prison.

  2. Maybe that's why he is so adamant about not being punished for lying.

  3. @larry Lying to government officials is a crime. It's just not a crime when they lie to us.

  4. A Republic, if you can keep it. These words are profound and deep.

  5. Yeah, and worrying given all the people who will vote for this defiant, spoiled twit.

  6. @ALN How are we doing, Ben? Looks pretty bleak. David Laufman tweet yesterday: "We are now at a break-glass-in-case-of-fire moment for the Justice Dept." Of the United States of America.

  7. @ALN Republics are overrated. True peace didn't come to dark ages Europe until the Roman Senate assassinated Julius Caesar and the blowback converted Rome to an Empire. Under subsequent imperial leadership, the world enjoyed a pax Romana. This is what we should aspire to. And your failed assassination of Julius Trump fits the analogy well.

  8. I again ask: Why are my tax dollars being used for this?

  9. @Claire on Taxes are used to support the functions of the government, an independent Justice Dept. is amongst the most important of those functions. Of course that is something supporters of dictatorship would complain about.

  10. @Claire Please call your senators and representatives and complain. Just one phone call can make a huge difference!

  11. @Claire ; Amen! To me this is taxation without representation. In fact even in general a minority is now ruling over the majority in this country which is the very definition of tyranny and taxation without representation.

  12. It’s so lovely having such a truly loyal, obedient servant heading that Justice Department. So lovely.

  13. @Ken Nyt I am reading the latest in the Trump expose books: A Very Stable Genius. In early days of Mueller investigation, Trump was upset with "his" Justice Department not doing what he wanted. I can take the quotation marks off now. Looks like he owns it.

  14. Barr has unabashedly stated he hates the left. He apparently is willing to destroy the country to sooth his feelings.

  15. The people at the Justice Department say there was no communication between the department and the president over this issue. Apparently the people there, like Trump, think that if the communication is in public it doesn't count. In this case, thank God, the final decision is in the hands of the judge, subject to pardon by Trump.

  16. And now it's on to a military court-martial for Lt. Col. Vindman.

  17. @David Richards "The people at the Justice Department say there was no communication between the department and the president over this issue. And the moon is made out of green cheese, the earth is flat and 6000 years old.

  18. Trump - unplugged! There are absolutely no limits to what this amoral raging narcissist is capable of. What is it going to take for the American people to rise up and - like Howard Beale in the movie Network - say "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore !!" ?

  19. Time for a massive peaceful march on this lawless White House.

  20. @deutschmann long past high time!!! the world has been wondering for many months what you are all waiting for...

  21. A massive ongoing PEACEFUL protest (millions of people out on the streets for weeks may be what is finally going to right this travesty. Short of that adieus to a once great idea aka the rule of law that underpins the USA system of govt....

  22. @Deutschmann: trump ignores those kinds of marches. Protest marches and rallies will do nothing. The only way to end Trump's rule is to vote for the Democratic Party nominee.

  23. The judge in the Stone case had to gag him because he was whining so much publicly about his case and warping the facts. So now Stone has enlisted a proxy in his battle. None other than his fool friend President of the United States, Donald Trump. So Trump leans on his Roy Cohn United States Attorney General, Billy Barr. And....wham!.... Barr tells the judge to go easy. Justice in America is a perfect circuit.

  24. Political interference with Justice Department decisions was the impetus for the independent counsel law which was allowed to expire in 1999. We need to find a similar way to insulate our government prosecutors and to uphold the rule of law in cases where there is a conflict of interest.

  25. Tremendous waste and tremendous fraud. Perfect aliases for the loser's personal attorney and his client.

  26. Trump is a disgrace but the Republican voters think that he’s a great President because he tells them he is so great. Meanwhile he mocks all of our laws and standards graceful conduct. Now Barr steps in once more to please Trump and help him thumb his nose at all those nasty professional prosecutors to save a fellow member of his circle of habitual liars and cheaters mentored by Roy Cohn. Trump’s realty T.V. show Presidency sputters onwards.

  27. When a morally decrepit, mobster President owns the Senate majority (thanks, Mitch, Lindsay and Co.), Dept. of Justice (bravo, Barr), an obsequious Supreme Court (grateful 'I like beer' Kavanaugh), and a propoganda arm for brainwashing the masses (yay, 'fair and balanced' Fox), we have officially become the Royal Kingdom of Trumpistan. Congratulations!

  28. You forgot to include greedy Facebook and all there propaganda and lies they profit off of daily.

  29. Trump, you do mean Personal Attorney don't you. I know you Trump. Whatever you say the opposite is the real Truth. So you say Attorney General of the United States of America? Also, you do mean MY SENATE don't you? And MY MILITARY. Don't you?

  30. The unleashed, rabid president is now feral and running amuck in the Republic's most sacred halls, of justice: Calling for retribution on Vindman, for getting off the hook creepy Roger Stone (nearly as congenital a liar as the overlord himself), for letting (goading?) Giuliani to dig up dirt in Ukraine for Barr. The purge has begun. Trump and his sinister lieutenants will stop at nothing to undermine the 2020 political campaign. I pray it does not get to the point where all good Americans must grab their torches and pitchforks.

  31. The lame stream media needs to ask republicans if they are satisfied with their acquittal vote.

  32. Is it possible to impeach the Attorney General?

  33. Does this terrify anyone in the GOP? Is there one senator who regrets allowing this man to walk away from all his crimes? Is there anyone in the GOP who has the GUTS to honor their oath of office? The house republicans are a clown show on steroids. The senate is a group of useless, terrified, cowardly sycophants, bowing their head to the big orange king. What I do not understand is WHY? WHY are you so afraid of this big bad bully? What could he possibly have on all of you? You have traded your integrity in for irresponsibility; you have forsaken your oath of office and your duty as a US Senator to the people you represent. And I know all you will do is go on Fox News and have your ego stroked by those fake news trolls - I hope that makes it all better - in the meantime, who do you think is going to save you when HE comes for YOU? Our founders despise what you've done to this country And so do I.

  34. @Kathy H perhaps it is Russian money to stay in power and the threat of that exposure and what it would do to their party that answers your question.

  35. @Kathy H The clowns in the senate (intentional smaller case) are getting what their base wants, conservative judges and tax cuts. What those clueless fools in their base don't realize is that the tax cuts don't affect them and when the orange buffoon finally kills Obama care they will have no health insurance either.

  36. @pork chops I think it is pretty clear what has been happening. Russia used the NRA to funnel money to Republican lawmakers, who took NRA contributions. Whether or not they knew the money was from Russia is besides the point. They are bought and paid for.

  37. Republicans...the law and order party that panders to police organizations...I think I just spit my coffee across my screen in laughter....

  38. Trump to announce that Ukraine's Viktor Shokin, top prosecutor that was ousted for corruption will be taking over the case, reporting directly to Barr.

  39. If you voted for Trump and are wondering how our once-great democracy turned into a vile autocracy, simply look the mirror. Then ask yourself if you are going do it again.

  40. @cyrano The emperor has no clothes - yet his followers believe he is fully clothed. Do you think if they look in the mirror they will see the truth about their president - or themselves?

  41. @cyrano Sadly, I think a healthy percentage of those who voted for Trump would have no issue with an autocracy.

  42. @Kathy H No, I don't think they will find the truth in a mirror, just an explanation if they do find it somewhere.

  43. "The Justice Department said the Stone case was not discussed with anyone at the White House." No need to. They just follow him on Twitter.

  44. @BKLYNJ Good point. Although by now we all know that everything that comes from this administration is a lie.

  45. @BkLYNJ Exactly. I believe it was Sarah Sanders who, at one point, actually said the President could announce policy on Twitter. You can’t have it both ways—sometimes announcing policy and sometimes announcing opinion. Anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear know what’s happening (and yes, I used a Scriptural reference on purpose, although I doubt our “religious” President would have caught it).

  46. One of the reasons for Stone’s allegedly “harsh” sentencing recommendation is his witness tampering. Ironically, with Trump’s interfering tweets and comments poisoning the judicial well, he is in essence engaging in, if not witness tampering per se, the same kind of tainting and besmirching of the Justice Department and system. To add insult to injury, Stone also posted a picture of the sentencing judge against a backdrop of crosshairs. If Trump no longer asks, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” it’s because, in William Barr and Roger Stone, he has two for the price of one.

  47. Republicans are enemies of the Constitution and the country. No more flag waving pretense. They want a monarchy. We all need to stop holding our breath waiting for them to find their spines, this is their plan.

  48. And the slide into totalitarian government accelerates. Throw him and his sycophants in Congress out in November. Our democracy is truly in danger. Vote to save our country, save our democracy, save our souls! 2024 will be too late. Vote!

  49. Most. Corrupt. President. Ever. Blatant public admonitions and rewards -- and the GOP Congress and his supporters cannot see his shameless lying and grifting? Manafort and Stone lied to protect Trump from Mueller's investigation and to conceal links between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016. How long before Trump pardons booth of them?

  50. Republicans in Congress, Republican Party, I ask you. Reread the first paragraph and tell me, isn't it time for you to do a little intervening? How much more of this national shame are you prepared to endure in silence?

  51. You’d think America would have seen enough Law and Order episodes to know that this is wrong. Where have you gone Jack McCoy?

  52. Dear NYT. You published the Trump tweet where he accuses Mueller of lying to Congress, I know this is breaking news but you can’t just let that hang out there. As of 8:36 am eastern time, there is no mention of Mueller in the article other than Trump’s lying tweet. If you are going to republish Trump’s lies you’re going to have to address them at the time you first publish, not after the fact. Please!

  53. @Christine I agree. Reputable news organizations have a responsibility to their readers and the public at large to refute the statements it publishes when it knows the statements are wrong. There is no "fairness" in giving credence to something that is flat out wrong.

  54. @Christine I'd give the Times a pass on this. When they reviewed Animal House, they did not clarify for us that the Germans did not, in fact, bomb Pearl Harbor. I'd put the tweeting Trump alongside Blutarsky.

  55. @Christine Hear, hear! The lack of precision in some recent Times reports is shocking. Writers should make time to review in detail the tweets they copy and paste; then call out the falsehoods.

  56. With Trump in the white house, we look like, more and more, a banana republic. What a shame.

  57. The grip of dictatorship became a noose once Bill Barr decided to go rogue.

  58. Stone is who he is. Another person like Trump born with advantages squandered. He lives disgracefully and thinks that people with honor are chumps because life to him is a joke, just like Trump.

  59. You know this is only the beginning of the reign of terror by Trump....McConnell has unleashed him ... look out folks.

  60. So it wasn't Russia it was Ukraine. It wasn't Republicans but Democrats. It wasn't the white racists, it was the peaceful protesters. It wasn't Trump, it was everyone else Have to wonder what will be left when he's gone.

  61. @Foxrepubican If we survive, democracy will be left when he is gone (and hopefully he'll be in prison).

  62. Did you mean to quote that famous quote by Martin Niemöller or was that just eerily prescient... First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  63. Where the calls for Barr's resignation come from? Susan Collins?

  64. The AG intervenes in a case on behalf of Trump, 4 prosecutors resign, and this is your headline? This is how you choose to report the story? I don’t understand what’s happened to The NY Times. Reporting Trump’s reaction to an event instead of the actual event just helps reinforce his narrative. He’s the biggest threat to our Democracy and you’re not doing your job!

  65. @A.L. Miller I agree that a different led/angle on the story could have emphasized the unprecedented action here and the threat to our rule of law. Why don't the Republicans recognize the danger of a subservient DOJ and a man who thinks he is king?

  66. They say that if you put a frog on a hot pan, it will jump off, but if you put it on a cold pan and turn on the burner, the frog will just sit there until it fries. Donald Trump is the burner. America is the frog.

  67. Judge Amy Berman Jackson still has the last word. Life without the possibility of parole would be appropriate. Or is that too cruel and unusual for Stone and his bff, The Donald? This clown has been laughing at all of us.

  68. This is just a prelude to what's up and coming. Justice in America is under attack and it is Wiilam Barr who is weilding the bat. Very scary stuff!

  69. Like a mentally ill child, you do what you can to support them as much as possible but keep an eye on your own mental health to make sure it’s not affecting it too adversely.

  70. Lt. Col. Vindman said, "I'll be o.k., Dad.  This is America." No, Lt. Col.  This is no longer America.  A sitting president sics HIS Military on a U.S. citizen, for obeying the law!

  71. @LEFisher Vindman for Secretary of State under the incoming Democratic President.

  72. @Doctor B : Plus award him the Medal of Freedom the first week in office, along with his twin brother & every other witness.

  73. @LEFisher Vindman’s naive faith in his country at that point was heartbreaking. He deserves so much better.

  74. I’m reading A Very Stable Genius by WaPo journalists, Philip Rucker and Carol Leoning. The revelations that POTUS intervened in the Stone sentencing to cry foul of how unjust it was (and going after the Judge), the very disturbing perp walk out of the White House of Lt. Col. Vindman and his brother, the purges of the NSC and the pardoning of Navy SEAL, Edward Gallagher, (which the NYT is still investigating and has revealed chilling details about his conduct), all add up to anyone who is paying attention that POTUS is not only a flaming narcissist but also very paranoid. This combination of psychological disorders in anyone in power would be frightening enough, but in the President of the United States with sycophants in Congress and DOJ giving him carte blanche to his delusions, we all need to be very afraid for our democracy, our country, and the world. Can Lady Justice save us? I pray that those supporting his behavior take off their blind folds before it is too late. November 3 can’t come soon enough for me.

  75. What Lady Justice? With Bill Barr leading it????

  76. @Karen J. Don't forget mandating federal buildings to have a classical style. I am scared and depressed too. I have family members who laugh at Trump while supporting him as president. It's surreal what is happening right now. People I thought I knew are showing very dark aspects of themselves in terms of their priorities. Things feel upside down and inside out.

  77. This is just the beginning of a mad man seeking to be king. The republicans, but especially McConnell, should be forced to watch ‘TheTudors’.

  78. Hopefully the judge will do the right thing. Is this really what people in this country want more of? Or are willing to overlook because the economy is good? And I might add the economy was good before Trump became president. I just hope that when the darkness eventually comes to light, we have a way to get back on track, that it's not too late.

  79. I am truly saddened. The man lied under oath to a congressional committee that was investigating election interference. Letting him off easy not only diminishes or system of checks and balances and compromises our judicial system, it also endangers our electoral system. If he gets a slap on the wrist, what's to discourage others from future election meddling. This is how great nations die.

  80. @AB Tomorrow's headline - "Trump Shoots a Citizen on 5th Avenue and A.G. Barr Says It's Not A Crime" Congressional Republicans are complicit in Trump openly acting like a mob boss. Vote them all out of office for failing to protect our Constitution and being a check to a tyrannical POTUS.

  81. @AB my reading of the situation is that you better be scared. Very scared and horrified. If you are only saddened, then you might be way too optimistic for the short term future of our country.

  82. @AB The Democrats must make sure to run ads featuring Senator Kamala Harris's questioning Mr. Barr and his refusal to answer her questions. He revealed himself before he was approved.

  83. Bob Mueller, will you please at least defend your honor?

  84. If there ever was a "deep state" I for one wish it would act now! Our once venerable governmental intuitions are being irrevocably damaged by our Machiavellian President his AG. It's polite to say the (justice is blind) baby is being tossed out with the bathwater. The heartfelt expletives I wish to use the NYT would not print.

  85. As I recall, all that is required for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to remain silent. The moment has come for lengthy, strong statements from Colin Powell, Rex Tillerson, George Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Robert Mueller, James Mattis, .......any Republican with an ounce of courage and commitment to the ideals of America.

  86. So, the president didn’t “ask” Barr to intervene. He simply made his feelings known in public, Barr took action, and now the president expresses his approval. We now live in a place where even “Justice” is not even a pretence. Wow.

  87. This shows that Trump truly thinks he is the law and that what he wants is the only thing that matters. He and the GOP need to be thrown out of office.

  88. Why hasn’t Mr. Mueller made a statement in support of these four attorneys who quit?

  89. This act, like many others, is a clear indication that Trump would continue to abuse his power. The worst part is that all the Republicans, silent on the matter, are undaunted about his behavior confirming that the impeachment trial was a complete farse.

  90. Has the GOP no SHAME? They enable trump.

  91. “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” ― Thomas Jefferson

  92. I am writing this every day: POTUS and his henchmen need to go "by any means necessary". It's for the greater good of this nation and I don't care how. If this was North Korea or Russia, I know what would happen, and I think most other people on this planet do, as well. Also, they all hate America now (and have since Vietnam and the Middle East "meddling". I do not blame them, for I would in their place, too.

  93. SO are the Republican congress people going to step in, now?

  94. Another “perfect” tweet—abusing power and undermining justice. Of course Trump thinks intimidating witnesses is ok, he does it repeatedly.

  95. Its simply surreal to watch and listen. This is turning the back on modernity. This is turning away from rationality. This is all but what the US stood for. Pleas get rid of this medieval horror trip. Make your votes be counted ! Otherwise David Bowie's "this is not ....." should be played as a national anthem.

  96. Special interest justice hardly falls under the due process or equal protection guarantees of the Constitution. We are witnessing the administration parceling out mercy and compassion for the thugs who worked for Trump. Attorney General Barr will be remembered as the ultimate yes man.

  97. Hitting back harder than you have been hit is the modus operandi of No. 45. Cloaking his systematic revenge as a purge of the "deep state" is specious at best. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Apparently, it is already having that effect upon the Republicans members of Congress.

  98. This is a shameful episode in U.S. jurisprudence. Moreso, it’s a dangerous precedent.

  99. I'm amazed that Barr, whom I'm told, was well-respected before he drank the Trump Kool-Aid, is willing to add this to his legacy. For now and forever, any book on the Trump presidency or biography or obit of Barr will include his attempts to deprive the Justice Department of its independence from politics. And for what? To cut a few years off the sentence of a Trump associate? To mis-characterize the Mueller report, which belies his description a few weeks later when the report is released? To announce a meaningless channel to receive questionable Ukraine intel from Giuliani? To expend Justice Dept resources on investigations that are likely to go nowhere?

  100. What’s Trump got to lose? What’s Barr got to lose? They can do whatever they like, Carte Blanche. They hold the executive branch and only fair elections should remove corrupt rulers.

  101. Talk about becoming a banana republic - DOJ completely under the presidents control. Republican senators know he's guilty and admit it, but do not uphold their oath of office nor the trial oath. Dodging their duty with the lame excuse that this is an election year - hopefully they will pay the price.

  102. Congress , regardless of Presidential and Senate obstruction, must use all of it's investigative and legal prerogatives to expose and hold accountable the continued assault on our Constitution and rule of law by a wholly corrupt President and his enablers. This is the Constitutional Crisis.

  103. It has all fallen apart - it has all come down into an unrecognizable heap and cannot be put together again.

  104. And once again Trump acts to destroy America for all but the wealthy and his criminal enterprise. I hope the judge sends Trump a powerful message but since it seems everyone is afraid of his wrath I have my doubts.

  105. Tell me, Susan Collins, just what "lesson" did donald trump learn from his impeachment trial? That the republicans in Congress will lie down and let him do ANYTHING HE WANTS?! That he can use the Justice Department to wreak vengeance on his perceived "enemies"?

  106. If trump gets a second term, we can be sure that the justice department will be used to prosecute anyone who opposed him.

  107. 'Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it'.We are on the road to Rome.

  108. @Mark N Or to certain European countries of the 1930's and 40's

  109. "Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!" Who cannot allow it? Under our system, this should be handled by the various courts of appeal if, indeed, there was a miscarriage of justice. But the implication is that HE will not allow it. As the cooler heads - Priebus, Kelly, Mattis etc. - quit and or get fired, Trump is getting more and more dictatorial and the "We are the state and the state is us" mentality creeps in.

  110. The President is the senior law enforcement officer in the nation. He can decide what he likes. This seems a lot more tame to me than speaking to the Attorney General on your private plane while she is investigating your wife.

  111. @Rene Descartes Yeah? Well, even your monarch does not have that power.

  112. @Rene Descartes ..."The President is the senior law enforcement officer in the nation. He can decide what he likes."....Sort of like a king.

  113. @Rene Descartes Really? A 10 minute chat with multiple people present versus a half dozen people lying and locked up in prison? Trump's team has been convicted in open court many times. Why so many liars and criminals?

  114. The president is successfully conducting the infamous Milgram experiment, and in full public view. His ability to use his authority to get DoJ, Senators, and others to act in ways that conflict with their conscience is remarkable and painful to watch as it unfolds in real-time. As with the experiment, I fear the voltage will be successively increased until there is silence.

  115. It all follows logically from the Dershowitz Doctrine: - "Trump believes his re-election is in the public interest", therefore, - "anything he does in pursuit of his re-election is legal", therefore, - we should conclude that any actions of his supporters in support of his re-election are also legal, therefore, free Mr Stone (and give him a nice medal). On a more serious note, the protest move of the four prosecutors would have sufficed to bring down any normal administration.

  116. Can nobody cares. Hyperbole. Some do. But how many Senate Republicans will utter a word of concern, much less criticism, over Trump increasingly demolishing the walls of Independence between the White House and DOJ? What about those who called themselves for decades conservatives and would have rushed to the barricades had Obama taken such action?

  117. @Richard Meant "so nobody cares".

  118. Could someone bring, in the future, an obstruction of justice charge against Barr? In the meantime, I hope the judge gives the criminal Stone a little more than 9 years. That would be justice at its best.

  119. And yet another exhibit of a banana republic. What an ominous and sad illustration. I can only hope that somehow we can find someone who can end this nightmare and start leading this country back to something closer to the rule of law. Not that was ever complete, but certainly more contrast to dictatorship and oligarch rule than what we witness every day for past 3 years.

  120. Trump and Barr have turned the DOJ into the DOI, the Department if INJUSTICE. When we lose, as we have, basic confidence in the independence of the justice system, we have kicked out a crucial support of our democracy. Barr has acted as Trump’s personal lawyer, not the people’s attorney as he has sworn to do. The complete silence of the Republican Party is absolutely shocking. When Collins said that Trump had learned his lesson after impeachment, she was as wrong as she could be. And she knew it. He has been emboldened beyond any bounds. Four more years of Trump/Barr will destroy any remnants of democracy that remain in this nation.

  121. The last nail in the coffin of rule of law.

  122. Dictators control all aspects of government, and everyone is required to follow orders. There can be no pretense in Trump's government that anyone is acting either independently or on a principled basis. The only principle is obedience to Trump's orders. The essence of tyranny.

  123. Watching all this from across the border, one wonders if there even is a bottom. Obviously, many Republicans have made a calculation that what Trump can deliver outweighs any potential damage he might do. But the data informing that calculation changes daily. Where is the tipping point? How long will the stock bubble last before it bursts and the next debt crisis needs to be handed over to pragmatic managers? How much bald-faced interference and intimidation are core Republicans willing to overlook before they feel damaged by it? The voters will have their say, as is proper, but it's hard to imagine many in his own party really want four more years of Trump as their standard-bearer.

  124. The rule of law in this country is under attack by the President and the Attorney General. They represent a clear and present danger to our democracy.

  125. @treabeto Don't forget their congressional accomplices.

  126. Let’s hope that Judge Amy Berman ignores the DOJ’s recommendation, which she can do.

  127. But then he’ll get a pardon. He should have done it before. At least Trump would have saved the DOJ some face had he pardoned Stone before the sentencing memorandum went public and then retracted.

  128. I notice Donald Trump always does something outrageous whenever he’s not the focus of national attention (such as during the New Hampshire primary). What would happen if he had no spotlight to reclaim?

  129. It's time for the House to exercise its duty of oversight and start an Impeachment inquiry again.

  130. "Presidents typically have avoided interfering in Justice Department decisions to avoid allegations of improper influence, though there is no law against it. Mr. Trump has publicly inserted himself into several Justice Department matters, in some instances to protect friends like Mr. Stone and to direct investigations into his political rivals." Sad, so sad that we have come to be a dictatorship, with the full cooperation of the Republican party, Justice Department and SCOTUS.

  131. What difference does the length of the sentence matter if Trump is likely to pardon him anyway. Nine years or two, Trump's pardon would be equally effective and appalling at the same time.

  132. People do not realize how close we are to having a president who orders the investigation and prosecution of his perceived enemies. Such an expansionist view of Article II embraces that, and a second Trump term will bring it. Justice Department regulations can be discarded with the stroke of a pen.

  133. @Mike Dont you already have a President who orders the investigation and persecution of his perceived enemies? McCabe, Comey are both under investigation. Vindman and Sondland haven’t escaped persecution and he’s made it clear that he’d like to exact retribution on a number of other people.

  134. If Senate Republicans had ANY courage there would be President Pence right now. I’m certain these Senators will regret their vote long before November.

  135. The question is not whether those in the Attorney General's office "discussed" the issue with those in the White House, but did they read the President's Twitter feed. Obviously, they did.

  136. We no longer have a system based on the rule of law but on the rule of Trump. What's next, abolition of the jury system? How about doing away with judges and just have Trump decide punishment, much like the Saudi "sysyem" where people line up to plead their grievances directly to the king? Perhaps then Trump could impose unbridled sentences on those he deems "enemies of the people". Much as he tries to normalize this, we have to remember THIS IS NOT NORMAL!

  137. "The decision to override the recommended sentence was made by officials in Attorney General William P. Barr’s office as well as officials in the deputy attorney general’s office." But no, there was no interference. That Barr's office was involved says everything.

  138. “Presidents typically have avoided interfering in Justice Department decisions to avoid allegations of improper influence, though there is no law against it.” Actually, when it involves a person and a crime the President is an interested party, there is a law against it. It’s called obstruction of justice.

  139. And Paul Manafort is crying “What about me, Donald?” Even the story Manafort was on his way out, the messy hair, being unkept, locked in shackles, the sad depressed looks, didn’t get Donald’s freedom. Donald has a reason for picking and choosing..... Wondrous the prosecutors let go of Stone. More should do or have done so.

  140. @MIMA I predict that all Trump’s jailbirds will fly free as soon as the campaign is over in November

  141. Typical Trump to deny that he did something, in this case directing the Justice Department to lower its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, while at the same time claiming that he had the right to do it. Of course Trump is lying, he knows he is lying and knows that no one outside of his base believes him. But he doesn't care because he knows the feckless Republicans in Congress will not do or say anything about it. Proud of yourself, Mitch McConnell, for the monster you have created? Yeah, you probably are.

  142. @Jay Orchard "Of course Trump is lying, he knows he is lying and knows that no one outside of his base believes him." You might find out in November that "his base" is more than 50% of the voters. Trump's approval rating was 39% in October. After the Democrats attempted to undo the election of 2016, Trump's approval rating is now 49% or 10% more. It is the anger and hatred of the Democrats which gave him that 10%. Democrats should focus on what they can do for America and stop talking so much about Trump.

  143. Wow, I now know what it's like to live under a dictator. Nice. This is nothing new though, Boomers betraying all the "ideals" that are important and Millennials fight over purity on the other side. Gen X is used to it. Meh

  144. @Martin Please, Martin, encourage your generation to do something. Not all boomers are abettors or betray ideals. I'm not. Instead of a generational divide and cynicism, we need to resist until we no longer can. You too!

  145. Now can we call it a conspiracy to obstruct justice?

  146. “Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.” ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)

  147. Trump makes every wrong thing that Nixon did look like innocent child's play. And the complicit GOP is doing nothing. May everlting scorn be the GOPs "reward" for rltheir cowardly, self serving silence . We are headed for a dictatorship, if not alreade

  148. @Marie L. The GOP is doing more than "nothing". They are active participants. They are supporting his conduct in the Senate; indeed engaging in faux "investigations" on his behalf. The Senate is acting as a cheering section and gave him a massive green light by their non-trial. The GOP stalwart at DOJ's head is acting as he promised in his job "interview". The dark money is flowing, and those at its source are making out like bandits in raiding the US Treasury, and the country's mineral wealth. And Trump is humored daily by his hangers-on with FOX and Sinclair and other propaganda machines, and those whispering in his ear at Mar-a-Lago.

  149. Wondering how many federal cases get no sentencing recommendations from the prosecution — sentencing recommendation guidelines enacted by the Republicans all time favorite icon Ronald Reagan. Wondering how many times in Trump’s life he took it upon himself to proclaim his sentencing recommendations to the world — via a full page ad in the NYTimes.

  150. 4 Honest men However as our Honest citizens keep resigning we are by default giving away our country Stand our ground...

  151. Of course Trump didn't discuss the case with Barr. He didn't have to. Tweets were enough. Four meddlesome priests are gone; who are the next to go? The rule of law may follow soon thereafter thanks to 52 blind mice in the Senate.

  152. Trump's intervention in Roger Stone's sentencing, prompting the resignation of four Justice Department prosecutors, is a bigger story than Bernie Sanders' "win" in New Hampshire. His unchecked assault on the rule of law (abetted by a radical Attorney General) should alarm everyone - Republicans, Democrats, independents. But it won't if the media doesn't start giving it the spotlight it warrants.

  153. @Charles Michener While I understand why they resigned, they are not helping our country. They will be replaced with Trump drones who capitulate to his every wish.

  154. Orwell's 1984 is invariably used to refer to Trump. I think Animal Farm is a better choice: "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL / BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" — reflects his unchallenged belief that he belongs in complete control of the farm."

  155. Roger Stone is a self-enamored fop who, like his pal Trump, acts as if he is above the law. Well, since there is now no separation between the executive and judicial branches of government, Trump blathers about injustice for Stone and lap-dog Barr jumps to right this wrong. Let's hope the judge is not swayed by Trump's arrogant interference and sends dandy Roger to the clink for a long stretch - after all he was found to be guilty of several rather serious offenses despite Trump's protestations au contraire.

  156. Why would he not praise Barr? Trump in reality is praising himself. Barr neither inhales nor exhales without his boss’s directions. It seems as if the rule of law, justice, and order is dying before our eyes. We saw it last week via McConnell and again this week at the hands of a crooked and weak AG. Trump is nothing less than a dictator-in-waiting. And America is letting it happen. We will rue the day.

  157. @Kathy Lollock Sadly, the "in waiting" part has now come to fruition. This open and arrogant manipulation of the DOJ and direct intervention in the justice system shows there is zero independence left is what should be an independent system. If the judge ignores the DOJ new recommendations, and hammers Stone, Trump will call for investigation and impeachment of the judge, and the US Senate will happily oblige - with Graham and Grassley driving the bus at the Judiciary Committee.

  158. It appears Lindsay graham a auditioning for a VP pick. Or Rand Paul. Both were seen in N.H. campaigning for trump. It’s almost comical seeing them behave like lap dogs. Lindsay graham keeps making excuses for Trump and his administration. His old friend late senator John McCain war hero must be squirming in his grave. Through all this one wonders where is Joe Lieberman the independent who was tapped as Al Gore’s VP? Believe it or not, Joe Lieberman’s son Matt Lieberman is running for senate seat down south. As a democrat. Does anyone know if Lindsay graham and joe Lieberman are on talking terms? Cuz all we know for sure is Lindsay graham turned out to be the biggest back stabbed of another old friend Joe Biden’s.

  159. @petey tonei Lindsay only cares about Lindsay. I am surprised Marco Rubio wasn't on all fours drooling too.

  160. @petey tonei In some respect McCain is lucky not to have to witness the despicable behavior of his party.

  161. @ Petey tonei I’m now wondering if Senator Graham was friends with Senator McCain just to ride on his coat tails? Maybe he hasn’t changed so much? Maybe he sees who has power and goes along for the ride?

  162. "broadening concerns that the department is ceding its independence to White House influence."???? For Lord's sake, stop with the cautious language! that Independence vanished well over a year ago, as soon as Barr was appointed. The president has his Roy Cohn and together they're turning this country into a lawless, mob-controlled shadow of its former image.

  163. @ChristineMcM You are so correct. I am disgusted by language like "broadening concern". What, exactly, is wrong with these people?

  164. What is happening when Trump becomes Jury, Judge and Pardoner? Dictatorship.

  165. William Barr appears to be looking to Hans Frank (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Frank) for inspiration, just as Trump never denied his bedtime reading was a book of Hitler's speeches.

  166. William "Puppet" Barr

  167. They should all be in prison -- Trump, Barr, Pompeo, and on down the line.

  168. Trump is betraying America, and the Republicans are providing him cover. AG Barr is acting as the Defense Attorney of this Plot Against America, with co-conspirators Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn already convicted. The strongest reason to impeach Trump, and defeat him in November, is that he endangers our National Security by repeatedly and consistently aiding a foreign power, Russia. This is Treason, and all Americans must understand this. Trump’s tax returns would also show that he is in hock to Putin-connected Russian oligarchs, which is why Trump is so desperate to hide his financial records. Mueller was prevented from investigating Trump’s finances by Rosenstein, and Barr terminated the investigation prematurely. Remarkably, virtually the entire Republican delegation in Congress (with the lone exception of Romney) is in complete denial of all of this. The GOP has become the Gang of Putin!

  169. There are meant to be three co-equal branches of government. Trump dies not know or understand this as he almost certainly has not read the constitution, however others have yet appear unwilling or unable to correct his overreach. Either action is taken now to address this problem or Trump will be emboldened to continue along this path, effectively sidelining the judiciary and Congress, aided and abetted by McConnell, Barr et al. History will be the judge, does anyone have the courage to act against this corrupt power grab?

  170. @Andrew It isn't just Trump. A republican senate majority leader, along with an attorney general, and a majority of the supreme court are on board with completely ignoring the constitution and separation of powers. They're pushing for one party rule, and they completely understand what they're doing.

  171. @Andrew The good news here is that the judge in the Stone case will determine the final sentence. The prosecutors only make a recommendation. Of course, in the end Trump will probably pardon Roger Stone no matter what but if he does get a stiff sentence, it will be fun watching the GOP stooges justify the pardon.

  172. Where in the article is the fact that the original sentencing recommendation was well within the sentencing guidelines for the crimes -- the prosecutors were not over-reaching. And for the Justice Department to say the case was not discussed with the White House -- it did not need to be. They all read twitter and fear the wrath of DJT. This is so disappointing, again. Very proud of the prosecutors following their principals and resigning from the case, and in one situation from his job. Wish the republican senators has such integrity.

  173. @Lisa "Wish the republican senators has such integrity." Republican senators represent Republican voters among whom Trump is hugely popular. There is no need for them to do whatever the Democrats want. If Democrats think, "We will sing and the Republican senators will dance" they need to think again.

  174. @Lisa Another reminder of why it will be important to vote Republican Senators out of the Senate this November.

  175. @Ludwig But what about the rule of law and honest govt? We don't only expect that of the Republicans, we demand it, and that has nothing to do with party...it's called an oath of office.

  176. Our communal silence and absence of public, visible protest is damning. Especially so given the birth of this Country and it’s governmental structure was the result of a conscientious revolutionary war in defiance of a monarchy deaf to the needs of all its citizens. Remember the Boston Tea Party? The voice of the protesters was ignored much to the anguish of their King, yet it sparked the gestation of our county’s ideals with principled, accountable government for all. We, The People, are the ultimate test of government accountability through the active engagement of voting and public assembly. Dare them all to stop us.

  177. Truly appalling that the justice system is now pandering to this criminal gangster president.

  178. Why is anybody surprised that the crooked President is using his personal Justice Department to obtain relief for his criminal cronies ? The worst is yet to come ....

  179. Whatever ugly remarks you have to say about President Trump he is this guy's friend, you know he is in his corner. This was a sham trail, an FBI raid that was ludicrous , and politically motivated from the start, these prosecutors should resign, shame on them.

  180. @Tom ,Retired Florida Junkman Witness tampering, threatening the judge (he posted her photo with cross hairs on it). Lying to Congress. He should get 7-9 years.

  181. The autocratic approach of our President frightens me. For the first time in my 57 years I fear a challenge to our democracy. Sure politics has always been unfair and cheating abounds. Trump crosses even the widest of lines. The biggest issue is not his or his administration's or even his campaign's behavior, it is the inability for any entity to take him to account and hold him responsible. We have been so pummelled by the lies, misogyny, and vitriol that it has worn us out. We have become accustomed and he sees that as approval. I don't see the battleship turning.

  182. @Jeff The biggest issue is the Republican party that condones and enables his toxic-to-democracy behavior.

  183. @Jeff As I read your post and many other posts expressing a similar sentiment, I have been amazed and encouraged by the direct comments and replies of some readers overseas. Many of our friends of American democracy in Canada, Australia, Europe have responded with alarm and fear that our American example has begun to crumble from the inside. They are, however, very encouraged when they read posts such as yours that confides a similar deep fear and yearning for a return to our most highly regarded American values. It is because of people like you that the chain of lies and ethical abuses that have bound our nation down will someday be broken.

  184. @Jeff We have been so pummeled by the lies, misogyny, and vitriol that it has worn us out. Jeff, I completely empathize with your statement. I cannot help but think how Washington's troops must have felt in Valley Forge. At this moment, the collective we are not suffering the physical hardships they did, but the idea they fought for must now become our own. We need our Battle of Trenton. I hope it comes soon because many of us who want our republic to survive need a visible victory.

  185. This is what dictatorship looks like support him you get a pass, oppose him you go to jail

  186. Can someone say, "We have officially descended into a dictatorship"? Here, I'll say it: We have officially descended into dictatorship. We love you China! We love you Russia! We love you North Korea! All salute the New World Order. Who's ready for the revolution?

  187. Trump and Friends will either be in prison late this year or plotting for 2024.

  188. Of course Trump praises Barr. Like Pavlov's dog, the president knows that when he says to "sit", or "intervene" or "Barr want a treat", and like the dog obeying promptly to the prompts, Barr gets praise, and a treat. Maybe another round-the-world junket looking for dirt on whoever Trump wants dirt collected on. "Go fetch!" "Bring me back the stick to beat someone with."

  189. The Democrats have called for an independent investigation. Paging Robert Mueller.