Tuesday Afternoon Massacre

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12 mins read
Graphic: Scale of (in)justice, edited by Heidi Rand, from Wikipedia scale of justice, edited by Durova

By Heidi Rand and Ann G. Daniels

Deadline: NOW –

Here we thought that with primary season starting, the Impeached-in-Chief would be too busy hate-tweeting about his Democratic opponents to engage in blatant corruption, but whaddya know! 

  • February 10: Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors recommended a sentence of 7 to 9 years for Trump’s longtime accomplice and convicted liar Roger Stone
  • February 11: After Trump tweeted that the sentence would be a “miscarriage of justice,” his political henchman AG William Barr overruled his own DOJ prosecutors to lower the sentencing recommendation to “far less.” All four career prosecutors – that is, not political appointees – withdrew from the case to protest the outrageous political interference. 
  • February 12: the First-Buddy-in-Chief congratulated Barr for “taking charge of” the case against his lackey Stone, which he insists – ignoring Stone’s conviction – should never have been brought. Senator Lindsay Graham, Judiciary Committee chair, rejected demands that he require Barr to testify about the DOJ’s decision to lower the sentencing recommendation. He did, however, say that Trump shouldn’t be “tweeting about an ongoing case. I’ve told him that.” 

We’re so relieved Graham has that under control. No, just kidding, we’re as outraged by his doormat complicity as we are at the rest of this unprecedented mockery of justice. The House Judiciary Committee has “confirm[ed that] Barr will testify before the Committee on March 31st to address concerns regarding his leadership of the DOJ and the President’s improper influence over the Department and our criminal justice system.” Most of our Members of Congress have spoken out against what one news analyst and former U.S. Attorney has called a “political infestation… the single most dangerous thing that you can do to the Department of Justice.” Now our Senators, who are on the Senate Judiciary Committee, need to push to make sure the Senate does the right thing. Read on for call scripts and contact info – and below that, statements from our Members of Congress and Dem leadership.

What you can do:

Thank our Members of Congress and ask them to push relentlessly for investigations into Barr’s interventions in cases involving Trump and his cronies. Specifically, ask our Senators to protect the rule of law by refusing unanimous consent to any and all Senate business until Graham sees to it that the Judiciary Committee orders Barr to come in and testify under oath. 

What to say:

To Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris:

My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I want to thank the senator for speaking out against Trump’s interference in Roger Stone’s sentencing and AG Barr’s overturning the prosecution team’s sentencing recommendations. I’m angry that Lindsay Graham refuses to do anything and I want the Senator to stand up for the rule of law and support the Justice Department. I’d like her to deny unanimous consent to all Senate business until Barr is brought in for questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

To Representative Mark DeSaulnier, (email); (510) 620-1000 • DC: (202) 225-2095:

My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. Thank you for speaking out against Trump and AG Barr’s outrageous interference into Roger Stone’s sentencing. Please do everything you can to push for oversight into this interference and for investigations into Barr’s corrupt, politically motivated interventions into other legal cases involving Trump. 

To Representative Barbara Lee, (email); (510) 763-0370 • DC: (202) 225-2661:

My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. Thank you for all your work against this corrupt administration. I hope you’ll speak out against Trump and AG Barr’s outrageous interference into Roger Stone’s sentencing. Please do everything you can to push for oversight into this interference and for investigations into Barr’s corrupt, politically motivated interventions into other legal cases involving Trump. 

To Representative Eric Swalwell, (email); (510) 370-3322 • DC: (202) 225-5065:

My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. Thank you for speaking out against Trump and AG Barr’s outrageous interference into Roger Stone’s sentencing. Please make sure the House Judiciary Committee does everything possible to investigate this interference and Barr’s corrupt, politically motivated interventions into other legal cases involving Trump. March 31 is too long to wait to hear from Barr, please do all you can to call other witnesses, including the four prosecutors who withdrew.

Background – Statements from our Members of Congress:

Both Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris spoke out strongly against Barr’s reversal of the sentencing recommendation and Trump’s obvious interference in his friend’s case..

Senators:

Senator Harris quickly called on Graham to bring Barr in to testify about the DOJ’s handling of the Stone sentencing. She’s also sent out several tweets, including one that attached the famous video clip of her quizzing Barr at a 2019 hearing about whether Trump or anyone had asked him to open an investigation of anyone. In the tweet, Harris pointed out that her question “still gets to the heart of what we’re dealing with today. His refusal to give me a straight answer spoke volumes. The American people deserve to know whether Trump is politicizing our Justice Department.” 

Senator Feinstein also called for an investigation of the DOJ’s intervention, and specifically called on Graham to open an investigation and hold hearings. See the video

House of Representatives:

Democratic House leaders swiftly condemned Trump’s interference. Speaker Nancy Pelosi decried Trump’s “political interference” and said “It is outrageous that DOJ has deeply damaged the rule of law.” Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler similarly condemned “[a] President who intervenes in the criminal justice system to help his political allies”; and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff took the GOP to task for their “silence” in the face of this corruption.

Our East Bay Representatives’ statements:

Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11):

All four prosecutors resigned from Roger Stone’s case after President Trump tweets outrage & DOJ backpedals on its sentencing recommendation. @realDonaldTrump‘s blatant abuse of power & corruption are infecting our legal system.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15):

By recommending a reduction in Roger Stone’s sentence, President Trump is corrupting the Department of Justice to benefit himself and his friends. Prosecutorial independence is a pillar of a rule of law society. Congress must now do all it can to ensure that pillar still stands.

As of this writing, we don’t have a statement from Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13).

Spread the word! Tell everyone to call THEIR Members of Congress now.

Got friends in California? Give them the info above for Senators Feinstein and Harris, and the call script for Rep. Barbara Lee. For friends outside California, share the scripts below with them, and tell them to call the Capitol switchboard, 202-224-3121, and ask to be connected to their own Members of Congress. 

What to say to your Senators:

My name is _______, my zip code is _____.  Please speak out against Trump’s interference in Roger Stone’s sentencing and AG Barr’s overturning the prosecution team’s sentencing recommendations. I’m angry that Lindsay Graham refuses to do anything and I want the Senator to stand up for the rule of law and support the Justice Department. I’d like the Senator to deny unanimous consent to all Senate business until Barr is brought in for questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What to say to your Representatives:

My name is _______, my zip code is _____. I hope you’ll speak out against Trump and AG Barr’s outrageous interference into Roger Stone’s sentencing. Please do everything you can to push for oversight into this interference and for investigations into Barr’s corrupt, politically motivated interventions into other legal cases involving Trump. 

Linh Nguyen contributed to this article.

Heidi Rand fights the evil empire with skills gained as a Ninth Circuit staff attorney and civil rights lawyer, using words to resist, and to inform and inspire others to take action. She also wields a mean camera and knitting needles, though usually not at the same time.

Ann G. Daniels’ checkered professional background includes practicing law, reproductive rights advocacy, creating web content for nonprofits and educational organizations, and teaching adult and family literacy. She also designs jewelry, teaches knitting, and sings second soprano.

Linh Nguyen is one of IEB’s congressional procedure pedants.

Originally posted at Indivisible East Bay. Re-posted with permission.


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Indivisible East Bay is a chapter of the Indivisible movement. We are a grassroots organization focused on stopping the Trump administration’s policies.

We cover the East Bay Area, spanning California’s 11th, 13th, and 15th congressional districts. In addition to IndivisibleEB, there are a number of other Indivisible groups covering specifics cities, countries, and even neighborhood. Whenever possible, we try to work together in order to build a coalition of like-minded activists resisting the Trump agenda.

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