Ex-justice officials call on A-G Barr to resign

President Trump has congratulated Attorney General William Barr for

Over 1,100 former Justice Department officials are calling for Attorney General William Barr to step down, after he intervened to reduce the Justice Department's sentencing recommendation for President Trump's longtime friend and former campaign adviser Roger Stone.

Prosecutors who now work at the department should withdraw from cases that involve abuses or political interference, the lawyers said.

Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. asked a federal judge to sentence Stone to between seven and nine years in federal prison. 'He said he hasn't done it. Bill Barr said he hasn't done it.

"Each of us strongly condemns President Trump's and Attorney-General Barr's interference in the fair administration of justice", the former Justice Department lawyers, who came from across the political spectrum, wrote in an open letter Sunday.

"The Justice Manual - the DOJ's rulebook for its lawyers - states that "the rule of law depends on the evenhanded administration of justice"; that the Department's legal decisions "must be impartial and insulated from political influence"; and that the Department's prosecutorial powers, in particular, must be 'exercised free from partisan consideration, '" the petition stated. All four of the prosecutors who recommended Stone's seven-to-nine-year sentence either resigned or quit the case after the DOJ weighed in.

"Bill Barr has decimated the esprit de corps and the rule of law in the Department of Justice", he said.

"It is unheard of for the Department's top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case", wrote the former Justice Department attorneys in their Sunday open letter.

Trump had heavily criticized the original sentencing request for Stone and the Justice Department subsequently abandoned it, instead deciding to make no formal sentencing recommendation.

"We call on every DOJ employee to follow their heroic example", it states, advising staff to report any future abuses to the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility and Congress.

The next day, Trump congratulated Barr on Twitter "for taking charge" of the Stone case.

'The president hasn't done that, ' Conway said of Trump directly contacting Barr to intervene in a criminal case.

"I can not do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me", Mr. Barr said during a televised interview Thursday with ABC News.

Barr expressed frustration, however, at the president's public commentary on sensitive investigations, saying Trump's tweeting makes it, "impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we're doing our work with integrity". "I can not do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me".

"I think it's time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases", Barr told ABC.



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