Walter Shaub, the former head of the Office of Government Ethics, issued a dire warning Tuesday on the allegation that officials at the “highest levels” of the Dept. of Justice pressured prosecutors to ask for an extremely light sentence for Roger Stone, a good friend and former associate of President Donald Trump.
“America is on the brink of total destruction,” Shaub warned on Twitter.
And he put his warning in context.
“Short of assassinating opponents or using the military to quell public protests, I can’t think of a form of corruption worse than a nation’s leader influencing the administration of justice to protect friends and prosecute enemies.”
Short of assassinating opponents or using the military to quell public protests, I can’t think of a form of corruption worse than a nation’s leader influencing the administration of justice to protect friends and prosecute enemies. America is on the brink of total destruction. https://t.co/w0GiZ4WS9A
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) June 23, 2020
Shaub was responding to a tweet from attorney, commentator, and writer for Yahoo News and Just Security, Luppe Luppen, who posted a copy of Assistant United States Attorney Aaron Zelinsky’s opening statement. Zelinsky was a prosecutor for former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He is set to testify before Congress Wednesday as a whistleblower, presumably against the DOJ and Attorney General Bill Barr.
Zelinsky was one of four prosecutors on the Roger Stone case who abruptly withdrew just before the sentencing recommendation was to be made.
“What I heard – repeatedly – was that Roger Stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the President,” Zelinsky’s statement reads.
Shaub is far from the only expert to sound the alarm bell.
Former US Attorney Barb McQuade, now an MSNBC and NBC News legal analyst and University of Michigan Law professor calls for Barr to go.
More on the Stone prosecution. This is a disgrace. Barr must go. He is not acting as the Attorney General of the United States. He is Trump’s Roy Cohn. https://t.co/G2Mz7Fis1h
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) June 23, 2020
Matthew Miller, a former DOJ chief spokesperson now an MSNBC justice and security analyst:
Reading Zelinsky’s testimony in full just leaves me extraordinarily sad. Sad that this could even happen, sad that no R will care, sad that Barr can stay in office even a single additional day in the face of it. It is an outrage what they’ve done to DOJ. https://t.co/LBAWb1UDYH
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) June 23, 2020
Mimi Rocah, a former SDNY prosecutor, Pace Law School professor, legal commentator:
Thank goodness for professionals at DOJ who are standing up and calling out these flagrant abuses by Bill Barr & others. https://t.co/aDCs9ahjKI
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) June 23, 2020
Joyce Vance, a former US Attorney, now a University of Alabama Law Professor and MSNBC contributor:
Barr must resign immediately. trump should, but won’t, be impeached. And any Republican who doesn’t call this out & demand both resignations has no further standing to complain about anything a future AG does because they’ve abdicated all responsibility. https://t.co/Yp0YgsIWpM
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 23, 2020
Rachel Barkow, an NYU Law Professor and Faculty Director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law:
Next time you see Trump or Barr speak of law and order or respect for the rule of law, remember this. This is naked political favoritism that is an affront to equal treatment under the law and what our country is supposed to stand for. Truly disgusting. https://t.co/cyz4tSZh1D
— Rachel Barkow (@RachelBarkow) June 23, 2020
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