Bill Barr, longstanding paragon of the Republican establishment, is at least as authoritarian as Donald Trump:
A prosecutor who withdrew from the Roger Stone case after Justice Department leaders intervened to recommend a lighter sentence intends to testify before Congress that he and his colleagues were repeatedly pressured to cut Stone “a break,” and were told that it was because of his relationship with President Donald Trump.
“What I heard – repeatedly – was that Roger Stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the President,” Aaron Zelinsky, one of four prosecutors who quit the case, plans to tell the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, according to his prepared testimony. “I was also told that the acting U.S. Attorney was giving Stone such unprecedentedly favorable treatment because he was ‘afraid of the President.'”
Zelinsky will appear alongside antitrust prosecutor John Elias, who plans to testify that Attorney General William Barr personally ordered the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division to launch politically motivated reviews of 10 cannabis mergers.
Zelinsky’s testimony is a stunning — and stunningly rare — public rebuke of Justice Department leadership by a sitting official. And it comes as Barr is facing intensifying scrutiny over actions that Justice Department veterans and Democrats have described as dangerous breaches of the Justice Department’s independence from politics. The Justice Department did not respond to an immediate request for comment.
Barr is guilty, in addition to everything else, of bad branding. f he threatened to use antitrust law against a tech or media company because it was willing to publish content critical of Donald Trump, there would already be 10 Matt Stoller articles praising him for OUTFLANKING Dems from the left like Comrade Josh Hawley. But going after Big Ganja, that’s not going to get you any Twitter cred.
Anyway, Trump is extremely bad but he’s more reflective of a party-wide rot, and the party’s elite lawyers are some of its worst actors.