Given what happened in the Roger Stone case this week, many are wondering whether House Democrats are now going to go after Attorney General William Barr. But, it appears, at least for now, that they are not going to launch another faux-impeachment.
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House is not going to impeach Barr for his action in the Stone case.
Pelosi responds to call for Barr’s removal
Pelosi made her remarks about Barr at a press conference on Thursday. But before we accuse her of finally making some sense — by choosing not to impeach Barr — let’s look at some of the other things she had to say.
“A.G. Barr has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing the DOJ’s sentencing recommendation, the act of interference in Trump’s retribution against [the] lead attorney in the Stone case,” she said.
She went on to refer to Barr as a “rogue” attorney general and “a sad disappointment to our country,” while also blasting him for having “stooped to such levels.”
“The American people deserve better,” she said. “This is not what America is about. It is so wrong.”
So what did Barr do to earn such terms of endearment? In short, he did his job.
The prosecutors in the Roger Stone case recommended a sentence of up to nine years in prison, and, finding that sentence to be excessive for Stone’s crime, Barr withdrew the recommendation. He did what any good attorney general would do, but it is the context that Democrats are using to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Barr withdrew the nine-year recommendation after President Donald Trump had tweeted that such a recommendation was unfair, which made it look as though Barr is taking orders from the president. The situation was not helped by Trump, who later praised Barr for withdrawing the recommendation.
So, now, in Democrats’ minds, Barr’s Department of Justice has been politicized. But, in reality, nothing corrupt is going on here: not only has Barr explained that the president’s tweet had nothing to do with his decision to withdraw the nine-year recommendation, but even if it did, it doesn’t matter because, as president, Trump could make such recommendations to the DOJ — he could even pardon Stone if he thought it was the right thing to do.
Although Pelosi says she won’t pursue impeachment, Barr isn’t completely off the hook. The House will get a chance to discuss the Stone case and other matters since Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee at the end of next month.
For now, though, we’re going to have to continue to listen to Pelosi and other Democrats bash Barr for doing nothing more than his job.