Ari Fleischer slams Trump for Roger Stone sentencing remarks: ‘Justice must be blind’
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer is criticizing President Trump for commenting on the Department of Justice’s sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, stating pointedly that “justice must be blind.”
Trump in a Tuesday tweet criticized the seven- to nine-year sentence recommended for Stone. The Department of Justice then announced it was changing its recommendation, which appeared to prompt the entire four-prosecutor team working on the case to resign from it.
“Trump governs like an outsider, saying what he thinks, letting it rip. He’s made it work for him,” Fleischer, who worked in former President George W. Bush’s White House, wrote to his 370,000 followers on Twitter.
“But there is a downside. When the WH comments on a matter traditionally left to the Justice Dept., it makes the matter political instead of judicial. Justice must be blind,” he wrote.
The change to the sentencing recommendation has prompted a firestorm in Washington and calls for an investigation.
The president on Wednesday congratulated Attorney General William Barr for “taking charge” of the Stone case, which he dubbed “totally out of control” in a Wednesday tweet.
“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump wrote.
Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought. Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter, a staunch Trump critic, also called the president injecting his opinion into the Stone case “the politicization of prosecutors” while calling Barr “the most corrupt Attorney General in American history” in a Wednesday tweet.
With yet more politicization of prosecutions Bill Barr builds his reputation as the most corrupt Attorney General in American history.
Barr takes control of legal matters of interest to Trump, including Stone sentencing https://t.co/xucaDloj73
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) February 12, 2020
While Painter is a frequent Trump critic, Fleischer often praises Trump.
Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he hadn’t spoke to the Justice Department about reducing the sentence, while arguing “the whole prosecution was ridiculous.”
“I didn’t speak to them. I thought the recommendation was ridiculous. I thought the whole prosecution was ridiculous,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “I thought it was an insult to our country and it shouldn’t happen.”