The post-acquittal flex

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Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, joined by other witnesses, arrives for his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing official proceeding and witness tampering at the U.S. District court in Washington, U.S. November 14, 2019. Photo credit: Erin Scott/Reuters

President Trump raged against prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone. Then the Department of Justice reduced the recommendation and the four prosecutors who made the original recommendation have withdrawn (one quit the DOJ). Is there a limit on the president’s power now that Attorney General Barr seems to be stepping in to support the president protecting his allies and going after his enemies? There may be theoretical limits, but it seems there aren’t really any practical limits.

Federal prosecutors have a lot of power in recommending sentences, but of course, that doesn’t mean the actual sentence will be anywhere close to the recommendation. A lot can happen. The original recommendation for Roger Stone (7-9 years) seemed high and notably reasonable, but it was always unlikely (and still is) that Long Suffering Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson would give Stone that sentence. Ken says Trump and Barr’s interference in Stone’s sentencing is a gratuitous flex. 

And what about Michael Flynn? Even before Trump started weighing in, the Flynn sentencing had gone off the rails. Plus: the Vindmans are removed from the White House, DOJ sets up a way to review what info Rudy brings in, and Republicans get financial documents on Hunter Biden while Democrats still can’t get Trump’s tax returns.



Sara Fay