Warren renews call for Barr to resign over Roger Stone sentencing
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday called for Attorney General William Barr to resign in light of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) move to ask for a shorter prison sentence for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump.
“Congress must act immediately to rein in our lawless Attorney General,” Warren, a 2020 presidential candidate who has previously called for Barr’s resignation, said on Twitter. “Barr should resign or face impeachment. And Congress should use spending power to defund the AG’s authority to interfere with anything that affects Trump, his friends, or his elections.”
Congress must act immediately to rein in our lawless Attorney General. Barr should resign or face impeachment. And Congress should use spending power to defund the AG’s authority to interfere with anything that affects Trump, his friends, or his elections.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 12, 2020
The demand from Warren came just a day after four federal prosecutors arguing the case against Stone resigned en masse ahead of the Justice Department’s request for a lighter sentence than the one they had originally proposed.
The prosecution team on Monday recommended that Stone serve seven to nine years in prison for lying to Congress and witness tampering. The charges stemmed from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference.
Trump immediately condemned the recommendation, calling it “horrible” and “unfair,” and his criticism was followed by reports that DOJ would revise its initial sentencing suggestion. The department later told a federal judge that its initial recommendation did not “accurately reflect” its position and that the judge should impose a sentence of “far less” than seven to nine years.
The Justice Department has denied that it communicated with the White House prior to the revised sentencing recommendation’s release.
Trump on Wednesday praised Barr for “taking charge” of Stone’s case, saying that it was “totally out of control” and that charges should never have been brought.
The developments have prompted widespread calls from Democratic lawmakers and former government officials for an investigation. Multiple Senate Democrats have demanded that Barr testify publicly, though Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) indicated that he would not call him before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Warren placed blame on Republican lawmakers for the recent episode involving potential political interference in Justice Department matters.
“Trump can continue his corrupt rampages and vendettas because elected Republicans do nothing. They lack the courage and backbone shown by four career prosecutors who stepped down rather than facilitate the Attorney General’s corrupt scheme,” she said, before calling on Congress to act.
She also cited her plan to create an independent DOJ task force if she’s elected president that would investigate alleged crimes by Trump administration officials. She urged other Democratic presidential candidates to commit to a similar plan.
“Trump and Barr’s conduct has no place in our democracy,” she said. “To end it, Congress must act — and the American people must hold them accountable in November.”
This isn’t the first time Barr has faced calls for his resignation since being confirmed as attorney general. Warren and several other Democrats demanded that he step down last May over his handling of Mueller’s report on Russia’s election interference and possible obstruction of justice by the president.
–Updated at 1:19 p.m.