(Liberty Bell) – On Thursday, Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton floated the idea that the prosecutors in the Roger Stone case who resigned after pushing for an extremely harsh sentence for Stone’s process crimes may have laid a “trap” for Attorney General Bill Barr.
A few hours later, during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” one-time acting AG Matthew Whitaker speculated the very same thing, elaborating on exactly what this trap may have been.
“It is very clear from [Barr’s] interview they had told him that they were going to do quite the opposite, then did exactly what he had said ‘no, let’s go another direction’ or a decision had been made, and they went another direction anyway,” Whitaker explained to host Laura Ingraham.
He continued, “This seems to be a little bit of a setup to cause this exact kerfuffle. Very much choreographed.”
Earlier that day, Barr explained in an interview to ABC News that he had expressed to prosecutors his concerns about the “excessive” nine-year sentence they had sought for Stone, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump and former campaign official who was convicted of process crimes committed during the Russia hoax investigation.
After news broke late Monday that the prosecutors went ahead with the nine-year recommendation despite Barr’s objections, he decided something must be done.
“I was very surprised,” he said to ABC News. “And once I confirmed that that’s actually what we filed, I said that night, to my staff, that we had to get ready cause we had to do something in the morning to amend that and clarify what our position was.”
Before he did anything, however, President Donald Trump issued this tweet:
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
This was issued before AG’s team took any formal action, sparking a firestorm from congressional Democrats and their allies in the media, so Trump and Barr were both accused of corruption.
But what else is new?
“This is an abuse of power,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared during her weekly Thursday press conference. “The president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interests.”
The House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, revealed that Barr is now scheduled to testify before their panel in late March on several different issues, including the role he played in Stone’s sentencing.
“In the past week alone, you have taken steps that raise grave questions about your leadership of the Department of Justice. These include … the decision to overrule your career prosecutors and significantly reduce the recommended sentence for Roger Stone, who has been convicted for lying under oath, at the apparent request of the President — a decision that led to all four prosecutors handling the case to withdraw from the proceedings in protest,” the committee wrote.
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) February 12, 2020
Of course, this isn’t what happened, but we’re talking about a committee that recommended articles of impeachment against POTUS without any actual evidence of a crime or impeachable offense, so what do you expect?
This, as Whitaker and Fitton have pointed out, seems like awfully convenient timing.
“Bill Barr has fallen into a trap laid for him by these Mueller prosecutors. And now they’ve created another scandal for the next phase of the coup against him and Donald Trump,” Fitton said on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
And yes–they’re already talking impeachment. Again.
Jake Tapper asks Rep. Swalwell if the House will push impeaching @realDonaldTrump over the Roger Stone situation: We're not going to take our options off the table. We don’t wake up in the morning wanting to impeach him…but we're not going to let him torch this democracy… pic.twitter.com/HqTANTdVLw
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) February 12, 2020
But, like always, all this seems to be built on a false premise.
“Fundamentally, all of their powers [that of the prosecutors] is driven from the president and the attorney general,” Whitaker noted to FNC’s Laura Ingraham. “And if the attorney general is led to believe that we should make this recommendation and they don’t, they shouldn’t resign — they should be concerned about being removed.”
“This is article two,” she said, pointing to Article Two of the U.S. Constitution, where the executive branch is established. “The president is the head of the executive branch. I mean, this gets lost on a lot of people. It’s like these runaway detailees from the CIA or some other department or some prosecutor gets to run the show.”
BizPacReview notes that:
Ideally, yes, but in recent times otherwise lower-level, narcissistic “detailees” such as disgraced former U.S. National Security Council member Alexander Vindman have seemingly sought to force their personal agenda on the executive branch.
Vindictive Vindman broke his chain of command to outsource a policy dispute and oust @realDonaldTrump.
All in a bid to advance his deep state agenda.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) November 21, 2019
Note also that the now-withdrawn prosecutors who were the architects of Stone’s original sentence recommendation are former members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion delusion probe.
“I would think the attorney general’s job is made more difficult by these Mueller holdovers that he allowed to be in place and outflank him on the Roger Stone sentencing recommendation,” Fitton had said of the prosecutors to Dobbs, of the accusation that Trump’s tweets make Barr’s job more difficult.
He was pushing back on criticism Barr had lobbed at Trump over his tweets. But according to Fitton, the real problem isn’t the president’s tweets but rather the “locus of evil” that the AG has unwittingly allowed to fester in the DOJ.