Feb 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

9 Democratic senators call on Bill Barr to resign over Roger Stone case

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Nine U.S. senators signed a letter on Friday calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to immediately resign after the Justice Department submitted a new sentencing recommendation for former Trump adviser Roger Stone this week, NBC reports.

What they're saying: "The interference in this case by you or other senior DOJ officials working under you is a clear violation of your duty to defend fair, impartial, and equal justice for all Americans."

  • "It appears to show that you and other top DOJ officials intervened in a clearly political fashion to undermine the administration of justice at the President's behest in order to protect a well-connected political ally who committed a 'direct and brazen attack on the rule of law.'"
  • "The shocking actions taken by you or your senior staff to seek special protections for Mr. Stone make a mockery of your responsibilities to seek equal justice under the law and reveal that you are unfit to head the DOJ."
  • The senators also wrote it is "not credible" for the attorney general to claim he oversees the DOJ independently, as he suggested in an ABC News interview on Thursday.

The senators who signed the letter:

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)
  • Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)
  • Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)

Trump acknowledged in a tweet earlier this week that Barr personally intervened to overrule career prosecutors' sentencing recommendation for Stone.

Go deeper:

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Pelosi leads Democrats' calls for DOJ probe

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is leading calls for an investigation after the Department of Justice made a downgraded sentencing recommendation for President Trump's associate Roger Stone.

"By tweet @realDonaldTrump engaged in political interference in the sentencing of Roger Stone. It is outrageous that DOJ has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing its recommendation. Stepping down of prosecutors should be commended & actions of DOJ should be investigated."
Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

GOP congressional leaders issue statement defending Bill Barr

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Tuesday in support of Attorney General William Barr.

Why it matters: More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials have called on Barr to resign for his role in politically sensitive investigations, after he intervened in the case of Trump associate Roger Stone.

Over 1,100 former DOJ officials call for Barr's resignation

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials who have served both Republican and Democratic administrations have signed onto a statement condemning Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the sentencing of President Trump's associate Roger Stone, arguing that his actions "require" him to resign.

The big picture: Barr is facing widespread condemnation from Democrats for taking a hands-on role in a number of politically sensitive investigations, including the Stone case, a review of the origins of the Russia probe, and most recently the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.