Feb 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats request interviews with prosecutors who quit Roger Stone case

Rep. Jerry Nadler. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Democrats are seeking interviews with four prosecutors who resigned from the Roger Stone case after the Justice Department intervened to recommend a shorter sentence for the former Trump associate.

What's happening: In a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr sent Friday, House Democrats requested interviews with 15 current and former Justice Department officials as part of an effort to investigate allegations of Trump interference into the DOJ.

  • The four attorneys — Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando — were among the most prominent officials in the letter, which included demands for documents detailing Trump and the White House's communications with the DOJ. The prosecutor who oversaw the Stone case was also requested.
  • Democrats also requested to interview the lawyer who oversaw the cases of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the official who Barr selected to review the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
  • In addition, Democrats seek interviews with John Durham, the U.S. attorney who Barr selected to review the FBI's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Richard Donoghue, who Barr chose to review the Ukraine scandal that lead to Trump's impeachment.

Why it matters: Democrats are ramping up investigations into allegations that Barr has has intervened with DOJ cases that concern the president.

  • "Nadler's request for access to the career line prosecutors is an unusual step intended to circumvent the Justice Department's political leadership," writes Politico.

What he's saying:

"The Judiciary Committee needs to examine a range of recent actions that smack of political interference, including the Department’s withdrawal of the Roger Stone sentencing recommendation; intervening in the handling of the Michael Flynn prosecution; overruling the decision to relocate Paul Manafort to Rikers Island; opening investigations into career officials involved in the Russia investigation; and a series of controversial interventions into sensitive antitrust matters."
— House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler in a news release

Go deeper: Roger Stone sentenced to more than 3 years in prison

Go deeper

Roger Stone says he's still proud of his efforts to elect Trump

Former Trump associate Roger Stone said in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that he is still proud of his efforts to elect President Trump, but stopped short of sharing any regrets on the matter due to a court gag order.

  • Stone, who wasn't on the Trump's campaign payroll, said in his first on-camera interview since his sentencing last month: "One does not have to be on a campaign staff ... given the modern miracle of social media and the ability to communicate."

Federal judge questions Barr's "candor" and "credibility" on Mueller report

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

D.C. District Judge Reggie Walton ordered Thursday the Justice Department to submit the full unredacted Mueller report for his review, stating that Attorney General Bill Barr's representations of the report prior to its release preclude him from accepting the Justice Department's redactions without "independent verification."

Why it matters: It's a rare instance of a federal judge, who filed the order as part of a freedom of information lawsuit by BuzzFeed News, calling into question the motives and impartiality of the attorney general in a politically explosive investigation.

Trump says he's "strongly considering" pardon for Michael Flynn

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Sunday that he is "strongly considering" a full pardon for his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has had his sentencing postponed repeatedly over the last two years.

Why it matters: Flynn was the first Trump associate to be convicted or plead guilty in the Mueller investigation. The Justice Department recently appointed an outside prosecutor to review Flynn's case, a move that has triggered suspicions of political interference.