No matter what the sentence is that the judge gives to Roger Stone, Bill Barr has already sent a message to the Department of Justice and the general public:
"Threatening witnesses to help Trump won't be punished. Loyalty to Trump will be rewarded."
Threatening witnesses is not a joke. Even if the person who made them looks like a cartoon villain. Even if the person who they were directed at, Randy Credico, said that he didn't take them seriously and didn't want Stone sent to jail. The original prosecutors decided and, the parole officers agreed, that the sentencing guidelines of 7 to 9 years for Stone was appropriate.
People need to know that the death threats to Randy Credico were part of a 2 YEAR CAMPAIGN to intimidate him. That includes kidnapping his dog who is his service support animal.
I'm writing this before the judge announces her decision. Because of Barr's involvement ANY sentence she gives will need to be interpreted. Likely the judge herself will write about why she chose the sentence she did.
The media and their legal analysts will describe the back and forth about sentencing guidelines. They will look at what the judge decided and ask if she is standing up for the law or standing up to Trump and Barr.
If you want to hear how a former United States Attorney and state Attorney General think about the case, listen to this podcast. Bharara and Milgram acknowledge how there could be differences of opinions on sentencing. They explain how USAs decide what to do and when. They explain how Barr's actions are out of line. (16 sec clip)
Full episode of Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara from Feb 12, 2020
I'm not part of the legal commentary community but they will do what I've seen the media do with Trump. They look at his actions and start with a "good faith explanation" to be through and to prove they aren't biased. Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O'Donnell will then have them on to explain why this happened.
This good faith reason for the actions give Trump cover and time--until Trump tweets out the real reason he did it.
I'm sure the legal community sees this pattern too, but what I want is someone who can cut right to the bad faith actions and say, "This breaks the law, here is how it happened and this is what we must do to punish the people who broke the law."
If it is just another Trump Norm Breaker™ I say dig deeper because as we have seen some things that are legal become illegal when there is corrupt intent.
I'm glad the judges are having an emergency meeting but unless Trump appointed judges make a strong recommendation the GOP will attack them for being Democrat "activist judges."
Frankly I don't know who should be leading the charge to protect the integrity of the DOJ. I'm glad to see Elizabeth Warren coming out on this, but we also need someone who understands the DOJ, the constitution, devious lawyers, mob tactics, power leverage and politics to direct actions.
There is another way that the DOJ is like the media. The DOJ people love to brag about how apolitical they are. But just like how the right wing said telling the truth makes you the liberal media, the right wing will say following the law makes you a democrat who hates Trump.
The Stone case is part of a larger plan from Barr and Trump to reshape the justice system to bend to power.
Because of all these factors we need someone who IS political and an activist to help fight back.
What power do we have now to prevent this reshaping?
- Understand the tricks Barr is using
Help us out law-talking people!
- Expose the corrupt intent behind the tricks
We've all learned what corrupt intent is, now we need the email, Twitter and audio evidence.
- Remove or weaken the people who are protecting Trump
Jim Jordan is on the Judiciary committee. His cover up of the sexual abuse at OSU makes him weak. Who else in this area is weak?
I want to know who are our allies in this fight and what they can do. I want someone who understands that leverage is being used over our enemies and have a plan for us to remove it or use our own leverage of this knowledge against them.
Bottom line: What are the multiple actions different groups should be taking now?
No matter what the judge rules there must be additional actions taken to stop the interference in our justice system by Trump and Barr. Until we do Trump's lifelong lesson is proved true. Intimidation works!