FoxNews.com would have its readers believe that the objections to William Barr’s interference in the Roger Stone case were merely a matter of disagreement over the length of his sentence.
Attorney General William Barr has come under fire because he interfered with what should have been a matter for his federal prosecutors to handle and brought the case in line with what Donald Trump was demanding for his crony, Roger Stone
The New York Times explains what Fox did not (my emphases added):
[Trump] intensified those attacks [on the guilty verdict] after the prosecutors recommended that Mr. Stone be sentenced to up to nine years in prison, in accordance with advisory sentencing guidelines. Their request, Mr. Trump said, was “horrible and very unfair” and constituted a “miscarriage of justice.”
Almost simultaneously, Mr. Barr overruled the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation and a new one was filed in court. It recommended a more lenient sentence but left the specific length of a prison term up to the judge. The reversal, more aligned with Mr. Trump’s preference, led all four prosecutors to withdraw from the case. One resigned from the Justice Department entirely.
The case ignited a broader controversy as former and current government lawyers accused Mr. Barr of failing to protect the department from improper political influence from the White House. In an open letter, more than 2,000 former Justice Department employees have called for Mr. Barr to resign, claiming “interference in the fair administration of justice” by both the attorney general and the president.
But to Fox News, the uproar was all about Democrats and deep staters hating Dear Leader. Its article about Stone’s sentence said nothing about Trump’s attempt to interfere in the case on behalf of Stone. From its article:
The judge presiding over Roger Stone’s case agreed with senior Justice Department leadership on Thursday that the original sentence proposal for the GOP operative was excessive -- amid a clash inside the DOJ over his sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced Stone to 40 months in federal prison on Thursday, said the original sentence proposed last week by federal prosecutors of 87 to 108 months was steep given the charges.
Last week, after prosecutors made their sentence recommendation, senior Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, intervened, overruling and scaling back the proposed prison sentence.
The mass withdrawal caused Democrats to accuse President Trump of interfering in the process, with many even calling for Barr’s resignation. The intervention also prompted thousands of former Justice Department officials to sign an online petition calling for Barr’s resignation.
I think we can safely predict that Fox’s prime time Trumpers will declare victory, use the ruling to attack Democrats and blithely ignore Dear Leader’s blatant attempts to undermine law and democracy.
Published with permission from News Hounds.