On CNN Tuesday, chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin expressed his astonishment at the chaos that unfolded after senior Justice Department officials overruled the sentencing recommendations of prosecutors in the case against President Donald Trump campaign strategist Roger Stone, and every prosecutor on the case quit.
"Jeffrey, first of all, respond if you would to the fact that Evan Perez said that this new memo from the prosecution, from the Justice Department, in terms of what sentence there should be — this of course coming after Donald Trump, President Trump expressed criticism, concern about the sentencing guidelines when it comes to his friend, Roger Stone — that the prosecution memo reads like a defense memo, according to Evan Perez," said anchor Jake Tapper.
"I had exactly the same thought," said Toobin. "I have never read a document like that that came from the government, and I have never seen an event like this in decades. Certainly since the Nixon era."
"Think about three things that are extraordinary, each on their own," said Toobin. "One, you have the president of the United States injecting himself into the sentencing of one of his old friends on the eve of sentencing. Completely unprecedented in my experience. Second, you have the Justice Department, on a dime, less than 12 hours later, following the president's lead and saying the sentence is too tough. And then you have all four prosecutors quit. Now, it's unclear to me how many of them are quitting the Justice Department altogether and how many of them are just quitting this case, but there's no doubt that all four are gone."