Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House lawyer Emmet Flood sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr on April 19 accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of playing politics with his claim that the report "does not exonerate" President Trump on obstruction of justice.

What he's saying: "Because they do not belong in our criminal justice vocabulary, the SCO's inverted-proof standard and "exoneration" statements can be understood only as political statements, issuing from persons (prosecutors) who in our system of government are rightly expected never to be political in the performance of their duties. The inverted burden of proof knowingly embedded in the SCO's conclusion shows that the Special Counsel and his staff failed in their duty to act as prosecutors and only as prosecutors."

  • The letter goes on to criticize Mueller's choice not to make a prosecutorial decision on obstruction, which Flood claims does not comply with the obligation imposed by the special counsel's regulations to "explain the prosecution or declination decisions reached."
  • Flood also addresses the claim by some Democrats that Mueller's report was meant to be a "road map" for congressional action, including possible impeachment: "If that was in fact the SCO's intention, it too serves as additional evidence of the SCO's refusal to follow applicable law. ... Under a constitution of separated powers, inferior Article II officers should not be in the business of creating "road maps" for the purpose of transmitting them to Article I committees."

Read the full letter:

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Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

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President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

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