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Tag: roger stone

1,100+ Former DOJ Officials Call for Attorney General Barr’s Resignation

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials are calling for the resignation of Attorney General William Barr after injecting himself into the case of President Trump’s friend and confidant Roger Stone.

“Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice,” the letter, released Sunday, states.

The former federal prosecutors and DOJ officials said it was unethical for Barr to intervene in the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for Stone, a GOP dirty trickster who was found guilty in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. Four prosecutors originally recommended a prison sentence of seven to nine years.

After Trump publicly criticized the recommendation, Barr ordered the Justice Department to file an updated sentencing memo calling for less prison time for Stone.

The four career prosecutors who wrote the original sentencing recommendation resigned from the case.

“Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words,” the Justice Department alumni wrote in the letter posted online. “Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign.”

AG Barr Says Trump’s Tweets ‘Make It Impossible for Me to Do My Job’

Attorney General William Barr on ABC News.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr delivered a rare rebuke of President Trump, saying his tweets about the Justice Department “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

In an interview with ABC News, Barr said, “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said. “I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Barr’s candid remarks come after Trump injected himself into the case of his friend and confidant Roger Stone, who was convicted in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering. Trump tweeted that the sentence recommendation of seven to nine years in prison was “horrible and very unfair” and called it a “miscarriage of justice!” Soon after the tweet, senior Justice Department officials overruled the recommendation, saying it was excessive, prompting a team of prosecutors to withdraw from the case.

Barr defended the department’s decision to overrule the sentence recommendation and insisted Trump was not a factor.

Barr insisted he notified his staff to amend the recommendation before Trump’s tweet, which he said put him in a tough position.

“Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet? And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be,” he said.

After the sentence recommendation was lowered, Trump congratulated Barr.

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted.

Barr insisted he would never bow to political pressure from Trump.

“If (Trump) were to say, ‘Go investigate somebody because’—and you sense it’s because they’re a political opponent, then the attorney general shouldn’t carry that out, wouldn’t carry that out,” Barr said.

Trump Congratulates AG Barr for Intervening in Roger Stone Sentencing Recommendation

Attorney General William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A team of career prosecutors withdrew from the case of Roger Stone Jr. after senior prosecutors for the Justice Department sought a shorter sentence for President Trump’s confidant and friend.

The prosecutors had recommended seven to nine years after Stone, a GOP dirty trickster, was found guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

Senior Justice Department officials overruled the sentencing recommendation, saying it was excessive, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. Under the revised recommendation, the Justice Department said the sentence should be “far less,” suggesting the earlier one “does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter.”

The abrupt and unusual intervention of senior officials raised serious questions about whether the Justice Department – and more specifically, Attorney General William Barr – was bowing to pressure from Trump, who declared on Tuesday that the DOJ’s sentence recommendation was “horrible and very unfair.”

On Wednesday morning, Trump congratulated Barr for intervening.

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted. “Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”

About 10 minutes later, Trump added, “Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”

Of the four prosecutors who withdrew from the case, one resigned entirely from the Justice Department.

Legal experts criticized the Justice Department’s intervention.

Michael R. Bromwich, who was the DOJ’s inspector general under President Bill Clinton, tweeted to “all career DOJ employees:” “Report all instances of improper political influence and other misdeeds to the DOJ IG, who is required to protect your identity.”

“This is not what you signed up for. The four prosecutors who bailed on the Stone case have shown the way,” Bromwich tweeted.

Roger Stone Mulls Lawsuit to Determine If He Was Under FBI Surveillance

Roger Stone on ABC’s “This Week.”

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Conservative provocateur Roger Stone is threatening to file a federal lawsuit to determine whether he was under FBI surveillance during the Trump campaign.

“We have strong reason to believe that Mr. Stone was among three advisors to candidate Trump who was under surveillance by the FBI during the 2016 presidential campaign,” Stone’s attorney Paul Jensen wrote in a May 20 letter to the federal government, The Hill reports.

Jensen’s assertion is based on a January 2017 story by The New York Times, which revealed that the FBI had been monitoring Donald Trump associates and the Russian government during the presidential election.

“Having exhausted our administrative remedies we are now contemplating a tort lawsuit as a means to force the government to disclose the facts in this serious matter and to determine if Mr. Stone’s 4th amendment rights were violated,” Jensen’s letter continued.

Stone, who was unable to substantiate his claims, has been charged with seven counts, including making false statements to Congress, obstruction a government investigation and tampering with a witness. He is awaiting trial.

Who is Roger Stone? This Netflix Documentary Gives You a Pretty Good Idea

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who is Roger Stone, President Donald Trump’s buddy who was arrested last week in Ft. Lauderdale?

A documentary on Netflix, “Get Me Roger Stone,” gives a pretty good insight into the 66-year-old dirty trickster who has done work for different presidents and has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back.

What becomes clear is that Stone is a longtime Washington insider who doesn’t mind being called negative things. He loves the attention, good or bad.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth watching.

AG: Mueller Wrapping Up Investigation of Collusion, Russian Election Interference

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robbert Mueller’s 19-month investigation into collusion and Russian interference is nearing completion, the acting attorney general said Monday.

“The investigation is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope that we can get the report from director Mueller as soon we — as possible,” acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said during a news conference, news outlets reported.  “I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible.”

“I have been fully briefed on the investigation, and I look forward to director Mueller delivering the report, and I really am not going to talk about an open and ongoing investigation otherwise,” he added.

The special counsel investigation, which President Trump continues to call a “witch hunt,” has resulted in criminal charges against numerous aides and associates of Trump.

But when the investigation will end is an open question. The probe is still ongoing. Last week, for example, the FBI raided the home of Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime loyalist, on charges of lying to Congress.

Mueller’s office has not commented on Whitaker’s statement.

Roger Stone Accuses Feds of ‘Gestapo Tactics’ But Leaves Door Open to Cooperate

Roger Stone on ABC’s “This Week.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Roger Stone, the longtime Trump loyalist and Republican strategist who was arrested last week on charges of lying to Congress, accused the FBI of engaging in “Gestapo tactics” to “depict me as public enemy No. 1.”

But during his appearance Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week,” he also left open the possibility of cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation.

When asked whether he would cooperate, the self-described “dirty trickster” responded, “You know, that’s a question I would have to — I have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion. If there’s wrongdoing by other people in the campaign that I know about, which I know of none, but if there is, I would certainly testify honestly.”

He added, “I’d also testify honestly about any other matter, including any communications with the president.” he

“It’s true that we spoke on the phone, but those communications are political in nature, they’re benign, and there is — there is certainly no conspiracy with Russia.”

Still, Stone questioned why FBI agents showed up with weapons during a pre-dawn raid at his home in Florida.

“This was an expensive show of force to try to depict me as public enemy number one … to attempt to poison the jury pool,” Stone said. “These are Gestapo tactics.”

At one point in the interview, Stone said, “They could have simply have called my lawyers and I would have turned myself in.”

Federal law enforcement has not yet said why they arrested Stone in such a dramatic fashion but indicated there was a legitimate reason that soon will be made public.

FBI Arrests Roger Stone on Charges of Lying about Communications with WikiLeaks

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump loyalist and Republican strategist with a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, was arrested Friday by the FBI as part of the investigation over his communications with WikiLeaks.

The seven-count indictment alleges Stone lied to and obstructed the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 election, the New York Times and other media outlets report.

Before dawn today, FBI agents arrested Stone at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Stone is expected to appear at a federal courthouse today at 11 a.m., according to Mueller’s office.

The indictment alleges Stone misled lawmakers on the committee about his communications with WikiLeaks, which released stolen emails to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He’s also accused of intimidating a witness.

Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said the charges were “ridiculous” and that “this is all about a minor charge about lying to Congress about something that was apparently found later.”