Updated Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

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

Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is withdrawing his nomination for former U.S. attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a top position overseeing economic sanctions, according to two sources with direct knowledge.

The big picture: Liu was confirmed in September 2017 to lead the largest U.S. attorney's office in the country, overseeing a number of politically charged prosecutions that included the case against Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and other spinoffs from the Mueller investigation.

  • Liu stepped down from the U.S. attorney's office last month after Trump announced his intention to nominate her to the Treasury position in December 2019.
  • Liu was expected to stay in her position through her confirmation — with a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee scheduled for this Thursday — but was unexpectedly informed last month that Attorney General Bill Barr was replacing her with his close adviser Timothy Shea.
  • She was informed that Trump was pulling her nomination Tuesday afternoon.

Behind the scenes: This was "the president's call," according to a former administration official familiar with the situation. The decision, which was made today, has administration officials questioning the circumstances that led to Trump changing his mind — with the developments in the Roger Stone case today being the only new information they are aware of.

  • Four career prosecutors from the D.C. attorney's office withdrew from the Stone case after the Justice Department overruled them on a sentencing recommendation.

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NYT: Barr assigned outside prosecutor to monitor Flynn case

Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr has assigned an outside prosecutor to monitor the Justice Department's ongoing case against President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The move could trigger additional accusations of political interference at the Justice Department, especially for extremely sensitive cases involving former Trump allies.

House Judiciary Committee says Barr has agreed to testify

Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday sent Attorney General Bill Barr a letter confirming he will testify before the panel on March 31st.

Why it matters: The letter comes after President Trump acknowledged in a tweet that Barr had personally overruled career prosecutors to lower the sentencing recommendation for his associate Roger Stone. Democrats in Congress have demanded the intervention be investigated for political interference.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Roger Stone sentenced to more than 3 years in prison

Roger Stone arriving for his sentencing hearing. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes that include obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Why it matters: Stone is the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced for crimes unearthed by former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. His case has been at the heart of ongoing tensions between President Trump and his Justice Department.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy