In response to press questions about their votes to acquit Donald Trump in his Senate trial, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) both said they believed that Trump had learned his lesson and would behave better from now on. Well…..
Last Friday, Donald Trump unceremoniously fired both Lt. Col Vindman and his brother from the National Security Council and had them escorted from the White House in classic mob fashion, and then a few hours later he recalled Gordon Sondland from his post as Ambassador to the E.U. Both were clear acts of witness retaliation, which is a felony, and naturally Senator Collins clutched at her pearls.
On Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went on CBS’s Face the Nation and said that not only is Rudy Giuliani still in Ukraine looking for a manufactured scandal to damage Joe Biden (which seems to be working, judging by early voting results), but Bill Barr’s Justice Department has set up an official channel to receive and process said dirt for domestic use. On Monday, Barr confirmed that this was, indeed, the case.
Today, William Barr’s Department of Justice intervened in the prosecution of long-time Trump confidante and adviser Roger Stone. If you recall, Stone was convicted in November on 7 felony counts, including 5 counts of lying to Congress, 1 count of witness tampering, and 1 count of obstruction. Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, and yesterday the career prosecutors handling the case submitted a sentencing memorandum recommending 7-9 years for the self-proclaimed “rat fucker.”
A few hours after Donald Trump took to Twitter in his usual irrational fashion to blast the recommendation, Barr’s Justice Department made a highly irregular and unusual intervention and overrode the prosecutors, publicly stating that they intended to reverse the recommendation because it was too harsh. As a result, all four prosecutors in the case have withdrew in protest, and one quit the DOJ altogether. What unusual about that is that it’s usually the more political US Attorney who resigns to protect the career people, but that didn’t happen in this case.
Then, just to top off the day, we finally found out why: there isn’t one. Last month, Donald Trump and Bill Barr withdrew the promotion of US Attorney Jesse Liu for a Treasury Department position and removed her from her post because she failed to file charges against former FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe as Trump wanted. She has been replaced by a Barr stooge.
Yes, Senators, Donald Trump has learned his lesson. He’s learned that he can do whatever he wants because 52 Senators are cowards who care more about their own political fortunes than the future of the Republic.