February 12, 2020

This isn't just breaking long-held norms and handing Trump the keys to the DOJ. This is also most likely Bill Barr actively interfering with a case to protect Trump and keep Roger Stone from talking about collusion, as Marcy Wheeler asserts.

CNN's New Day dug in to the news that Bill Barr was going to take over Stone's case.

"This is about so much more than just how long will Roger Stone spend behind bars. The message it sends is that Bill Barr is tampering with the integrity of the Justice Department. The Justice Department is different. It's different from all the other departments. It needs to stand apart. It needs to be free to prosecute cases independently without politics," former prosecutor Elie Honig said.

"And there are different rules for President Trump and his pals who can lie to investigators, who can tamper with witnesses than the rest of us," Alysin Camerota pointed out.

Honig said you couldn't ignore the pattern. "Roger Stone's not just any defendant picked at random. President's long-time friend, political ally convicted of lying to Congress to protect the Trump campaign. And let's not forget, DOJ softened its stance on Michael Flynn. They had come out asking for six months, then took it back and said probation is fine. You can't ignore that pattern."

John Berman pointed out this was a jury verdict. "So the president who is critical of it in this tweet and somehow denying that his influence or his tweet had any role in this, but the president has tweeted about the verdict. He doesn't like the verdict, period. So he's actually being critical of the Americans, the citizens who are sitting on this jury."

"Memo to President Trump, this is what happens when real juries -- not the Senate, but real juries get to hear a case and weigh the evidence. And to undermine the jury system, I mean, the jury system is the bulwark of justice in our system. And to say, I don't like the jury verdict, you have the pardon power. But he's not willing to right now because there will be political blowback and I think he knows that," Honig said.

"Maybe. I mean, if the judge gives Roger Stone a sentence, it's coming up, that the president doesn't like, he'll pardon Roger Stone," Camerota said.

"I think he will pardon Roger Stone eventually. After the election win or lose, it's very likely. But go ahead and take the political blowback, that's the way the system works. But don't undermine the prosecutors, undermine DOJ. Do it the constitutional way," Honig said.

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