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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday that he would not ask Attorney General Bill Barr to testify before his committee about the Justice Department's decision to reduce the sentencing recommendation for President Trump's associate Roger Stone.

Why it matters: Democrats in the past 24 hours have demanded that the administration provide answers on why the DOJ overruled career officials who had been handling the Stone prosecution, especially after Trump congratulated Barr on Twitter for "taking charge of a case that was totally out of control."

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the Justice Department inspector general requesting an investigation, writing: "This situation has all the indicia of improper political interference in a criminal prosecution."
  • Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Wednesday sent letters to Graham demanding that the committee hold a hearing on potential interference.
  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) tweeted Tuesday that his Democratic-led committee "will get to the bottom of this."

What they're saying: "He'll come in as part of oversight, but we're not going to call him based on this," Graham told reporters, adding that it's not appropriate for Trump to be commenting on ongoing cases, per Politico.

  • Other Republican senators were similarly dismissive: “I think the judge is going to take care of that,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Context: The Justice Department submitted a new sentencing recommendation for Stone after career prosecutors requested that he serve seven to nine years in prison for obstruction, giving false statements to a House committee and witness tampering.

  • All four prosecutors who tried Stone in November withdrew from the case, while one resigned from the Justice Department altogether.
  • This came after Trump tweeted early Tuesday that the recommendation is a "miscarriage of justice" that he "cannot allow," claiming that the "real crimes were on the other side.

Go deeper: Trump pulls nomination for former U.S. attorney for D.C. to Treasury post

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.