Meltdown over Roger Stone: Swalwell, Tapper talk Impeachment II

by WorldTribune Staff, February 13, 2020

Exactly one week after President Donald Trump was acquitted in the Senate, House Democrats and their corporate media allies introduced a new act in their never-ending impeachment circus.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, California Democrat, on Wednesday said that the Department of Justice’s decision to review Roger Stone’s sentencing guidelines, allegedly after a tweet from Trump, could be an impeachable offense.

CNN’s Jake Tapper, left, and Rep. Eric Swalwell

CNN ringmaster Jake Tapper got the latest impeachment ball rolling, asking Swalwell: “Might you impeach him over this, over Roger Stone and the sentencing?”

Swalwell responded: “You know, we’re not going to take our options off the table. We don’t wake up in the morning wanting to impeach him.” (That’s because, some observers say, they want to impeach him every waking hour, and probably in their dreams as well).

On cue, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused Trump of abuse of power and his top law enforcement official of lying to Congress.

“This is an abuse of power that the president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interest,” Pelosi said. “All this must be investigated.”

Swalwell, whose run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination seemed to end before anyone realized he had entered the race, added: “We want to work with him on prescription drugs, background checks, and infrastructure, but we’re not going to let him just torch this democracy because he thinks that he’s been let off once and we’re not going to do something about it.”

The DOJ on Tuesday lessened its sentencing recommendation for Stone, after prosecutors said in a filing a day prior that he should receive seven to nine years in prison.

Trump had criticized the sentencing recommendation in a tweet on Tuesday, calling it “very unfair” and a “miscarriage of justice.”

A DOJ spokeswoman said on Tuesday that the decision to change the sentencing recommendation was made before Trump’s tweet and that the White House and DOJ did not communicate on Monday or Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.

Trump on Wednesday denied interfering in Stone’s case.

“The fact is that Roger Stone was treated horribly and so were many other people,” Trump said. “Their lives were destroyed.”

“I want to thank the Justice Department — and I didn’t speak to them, by the way — they saw a nine-year sentence… nine years for something nobody can even define what he did,” Trump continued. “They put a man in jail, destroy his life, his family, his wife.”

Trump added: “Roger Stone — nobody even knows what he did… Frankly, they ought to apologize to a lot of people whose lives they’ve ruined.”

Stone, who briefly served as an adviser on Trump’s campaign, was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering last fall. Stone’s conviction stemmed from his interactions with the campaign regarding WikiLeaks.

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Feb. 20.

As soon as the news of Barr’s review of Stone’s sentencing broke, Democrats pounced. Many demanded investigations, and some even called for the attorney general to resign.

“Congress must act immediately to rein in our lawless Attorney General,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, tweeted Wednesday. “Barr should resign or face impeachment.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, also slammed Barr, saying he “ought to be ashamed and embarrassed and resign as a result of this action directly interfering in the independent prosecution of Roger Stone.” He also said the controversy was yet another example of “political interference by the president to alter the independent decisions of the Department of Justice.”

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, a Texas Democrat who was one of the House impeachment managers, told Fox News: “This president’s behavior is just totally out of control. This is one of the most egregious things that I’ve ever seen.”

Garcia then listed the oversight tools she said House Democrats have and could use: “It’s hearings. It’s investigation. It’s litigation. It’s subpoenas. It’s contempt. It’s all the same ones we’ve always had, but it’s a question of making sure that we’re strategic in what we do.”

Meanwhile, former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy defended Attorney General William Barr’s decision to review the sentencing guidelines for Stone, a former Trump adviser.

A day after federal prosecutors recommended 87 to 108 months in prison for Stone as punishment for making false statements and witness tampering, the DOJ issued new guidelines after finding the sentencing recommendation “extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate.”

Asked about the decision on Wednesday night’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum”, Gowdy said that Barr “thinks two or three years is more proportional.”

Without a sentencing enhancement “for actively threatening a witness,” Gowdy contended, “everyone would agree that Bill Barr’s view of the guidelines is accurate.”

“But the notion that Bill Barr should resign is about the dumbest damn thing I have ever heard,” he said. “If a United States senator really believes that the Department of Justice cannot weigh in on what a proportional sentence is — there are child pornographers who don’t get nine years. There are people who rob banks who don’t get nine years. So, let the judge decide. I think two or three years is about right.”

Gowdy added that Barr was aware of the sentencing recommendation long before “Trump ever tweeted a single syllable.”

When asked about comparisons to “Loretta Lynch talking to Bill Clinton on the tarmac,” Gowdy said Trump “has the power to commute Roger Stone’s sentence” or “pardon him right now if he wants to.”

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