File-This Oct. 24, 2017, file photo shows House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations are pushing a conservative meme related to the investigation of Russian election interference, researchers say. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
On Monday, it was reported that federal prosecutors had recommended a sentence of seven to nine years behind bars for Trump associate Roger Stone following his conviction on making false statements and witness tampering charges. Many of us were shocked and saw this as unreasonable, abusive and a continuation of the injustice we’d grown used to during the Mueller investigation.
President Trump strongly condemned this excessive sentence. He tweeted, “This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”
A Justice Department official issued a statement in which he characterized the sentence recommended by the prosecutors on the case as “extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate.” Additionally, he said the proposed sentence was “not what had been briefed to the Department.”
On Tuesday morning, the Associated Press reported that the DOJ had taken the “extraordinary step” of reducing Stone’s sentence.
By early Tuesday evening, each of the four prosecutors handling the case had (separately) announced their resignations. It won’t surprise you to hear that three of them, Jonathan Kravis, Aaron Zelinsky, and Adam Jed, had been members of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team. Nor that, according to the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, “witnesses and attorneys who have dealt with Zelinsky described him as among the most aggressive prosecutors they’d dealt with on the special counsel’s team.”
The fourth prosecutor to withdraw from the case was Michael Marando.
My colleague, Streiff, posted on this story here.
Shortly after this remarkable string of events, as Streiff so eloquently puts it, “another head bounced down the steps at the Department of Justice.”
In December, President Trump nominated Jessie Liu, a former U.S. attorney for D.C., to become the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes. One of Liu’s responsibilities at the DOJ had been to oversee the case against Roger Stone.
Early on Tuesday evening, it was announced that the President had withdrawn Liu’s nomination for the Treasury Department position. Frankly, I’m surprised he nominated her in the first place.
Same Jessie Liu who:
Didn’t prosecute inauguration violent protestors?
Didn’t prosecute Kavanaugh Liars?
Didn’t move against Awan Brothers?
Persecuted General Flynn?
— Rich Higgins (@RichHiggins_DC) February 11, 2020
Following this news, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), without whom we may never have learned about the failed coup against President Trump, spoke to Fox Business News‘ host Lou Dobbs. During a discussion of these latest developments, Nunes told Dobbs:
Let me tell you something else… The lawyers who stepped down today – the prosecutors who suggested seven to nine for Roger Stone – we believe that this is not going to be the only example. We believe there’s other examples of things they did during the Mueller investigation that I think you and your listeners and the American people will be very interested to learn in the coming weeks. As we start to unpeel the onion of what the Mueller team was really doing. Because I would say this, when Mueller was appointed we have to ask ourselves, he walks in the door the first day and he said, “OK, show me all the evidence you got on the Russians?” They’re like, “Bob, sorry we don’t have any Russians here. We don’t have any evidence.” So what the hell did they do for two years? They set up an obstruction of justice trap. And they went after a whole lot of people who have now got sentenced. Some already served their time. And I think all of this has to be called into question now.
Yes, I know, we’ve heard this before. But the impeachment altered the dynamics between President Trump and the Democrats. I don’t think he quite believed they were capable of such cruelty and spitefulness. And after Nancy Pelosi tore his SOTU speech on national television and his acquittal the following day, a switch appeared to have flipped inside of him.
In the week since his acquittal, Trump has publicly denounced Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer and others, he has fired/reassigned Lt. Col. Vindman and his brother, recalled ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, and pushed National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien to purge the NSC of as many Obama holdovers as possible. We also know that the DOJ has possession of and is reviewing Ukraine-related evidence gathered by Rudy Giuliani.
The NSC, according to Dobbs and Nunes, is the primary source of White House leaks. Nunes said that having so many Obama advisors on the NSC puts Trump’s presidency in danger.
Impeachment has opened up Trump’s eyes. He knows he must purge his administration of as many deep staters as he possibly can to set things up for his second term.
He should have done a thorough housecleaning when he first arrived, but he simply didn’t know how vast, how entrenched and how powerful it was. He didn’t realize, for example, when he replaced James Comey with Christopher Wray, it made no difference. Nor did he think that Rod Rosenstein would double-cross him by first making the decision to appoint a special counsel and second, by appointing the King of the Swamp, Robert Mueller, to lead it and allowing him to choose the most highly partisan group of prosecutors to conduct the investigation.
President Trump has just survived the most malicious political set-up in American history. He has weapons to fight back including the MOAB, U.S. Attorney John Durham. When asked for a time frame during a December interview, Attorney General William Barr estimated Durham’s investigation would be complete in the late spring or early summer. A May completion date would ensure Durham steers clear of making any major announcements in the months leading up to the election.
President Trump must do whatever he has to do to route out the corruption inside the government. Let the Democrats wail. Let them gnash their teeth.
What’s the worst they can do? Impeach him?