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A mini-revolt against Bill Barr’s authoritarianism

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Two federal prosecutors have resigned in reaction to interference with their sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, and a third has asked off the case:

Two career prosecutors who handled the case against Roger Stone, a confidant of President Trump, resigned their posts Tuesday after the Justice Department signaled it planned to reduce their sentencing recommendation for the president’s friend, and a third asked to withdraw from the legal proceedings.

Jonathan Kravis, one of the prosecutors, wrote in a court filing he had resigned as an assistant U.S. attorney, leaving government entirely. Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, a former member of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team, said he was quitting his special assignment to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute Stone, though a spokeswoman said he will remain an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore.

Adam Jed, also a former member of Mueller’s team, asked a judge’s permission to leave the case like the others, though gave no indication of resigning his job.

Of course, this one of the insidious ways authoritarianism is entrenched. People with any integrity or professional scruples cannot tolerate working for you, freeing their positions up to be replaced by lickspittles and goons who will happily to your bidding. People like Kravis and Zelinsky really have no good options here, but I can’t blame them for taking the route they did.

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