One of the key issues raised by Democrats during the testimony before the House Judiciary Committee by Attorney General William Barr was the sentencing recommendation by the Department of Justice prosecution attorneys in the case of Roger Stone.
You will recall that the team who prosecuted the case – and are associated with anti-Trump biases -- recommended unusually severe sentencing for that was essentially a “process crime” – fibbing to the FBI.
The DOJ – after consultations between Barr and other top officials – determined that the recommendation was based more on prejudice than jurisprudence – so they withdrew the recommendation in favor of making no recommendation to Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
This latter point is important because it is widely – and falsely – reported that the DOJ recommended a lower sentence. They did not. They left it entirely up to the Judge – and she could have sentenced Stone to the 10 years recommended by the initial prosecutors.
It is important to keep in mind that Judge Jackson was appointed by President Obama -- and is considered to be tough in sentencing. She is not known to have any sympathy for President Trump or Roger Stone. In fact, she had reprimanded Stone on several occasions – and was close to locking him up for contempt.
All that background is important because when Judge Jackson sentenced Stone, it was to 40 months in prison – just over three years. That fact clearly establishes that she agreed with the DOJ that ten years was completely out of line with the crime.
As Barr noted in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee – just as a person should not receive special favor because of their political associations, they should also not be subjected to disfavor based on political biases. Judge Jackson settled that issue when she sided with Barr and the DOJ.
So, there ‘tis.
By Larry Horist