Chris Wallace: Trump should not have weighed in on Barr, Roger Stone sentence

President Trump should not have weighed in on his former adviser Roger Stone's trial, " Sunday" host Chris Wallace said Thursday.

In an interview on Radio's "Brian Kilmeade Show," Wallace said that while some Democrats' calls for another impeachment over comments he made via Twitter this week were "ludicrous," the president "should not have done what he did."


"You know, let me put it this way," he continued. "If you were about to be sentenced, would you want me attacking your judge? The answer is no. No, you wouldn't like that and he shouldn't be doing it. He should just leave it alone."

"Any president – not Obama, not Trump – shouldn't put their thumb on the scales of justice," Wallace stated.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the president offered his "congratulations" to Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department (DOJ) submitted an amended filing in Stone's criminal case seeking a lighter sentence than prosecutors first recommended – a move that comes as Democrats accuse the White House of politicizing the DOJ and career prosecutors have withdrawn from the case in apparent protest.

"I don't think he should have complained about the guidelines that – apparently they were going to be changed anyway," Wallace told Kilmeade. "So, just be quiet. Don't thank Attorney General Barr and certainly do not attack the judge who is going to sentence."

In November of 2019, Stone was convicted of obstructing a congressional inquiry by the House Intelligence Committee into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lying to investigators under oath, and trying to block the testimony of a witness.

Federal prosecutors initially suggested a lengthy sentence of between 87 and 108 months in prison on Monday. The following day, the DOJ leadership overruled the prosecutors in the case, submitting a new filing that said the DOJ "respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration far less than 87 to 108 months’ imprisonment would be reasonable" for Stone.

"Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought," Trump wrote. "Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!"

It is unclear what the president was specifically referring to as "tainted," but this is not the first time the president has made unsubstantiated claims about independent counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

"Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign.) Gee, that sounds very fair!" he continued in a follow-up tweet. "Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!"

Since the tweets posted, Democrats have accused the president of interfering in the process – a charge which he has vehemently denied – and called for Barr's resignation. Additionally, the case has been complicated further by questions over possible juror bias.

Meanwhile, it emerged Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had denied a defense request to strike a potential juror who was an Obama-era press official with admitted anti-Trump views – and whose husband worked at the same DOJ division that handled the probe leading to Stone's arrest.

And, another Stone juror, Seth Cousins, donated to former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke and other progressive causes, federal election records reviewed by show.

In defense of the president's comments, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning that the president has a "right to his opinion."

She also said that Barr was correct in labeling Stone's previously recommended nine-year sentence "excessive."

"That was something that they knew was excessive and did on their own," she said.


Wallace mused that if he were in the Democrats' shoes, he would be spending his time passing legislation to help real people and not going after the president.

"You want to criticize the president, hold a news conference – fine," he concluded. "But, I wouldn't be using my precious time in the majority in the House with that. I'd be spending it on legislation that's going to affect peoples' lives."

TAGS: Chris Wallace Trump should not have weighed in on Barr Roger Stone sentence

14 Feb 2020 02:44   |    200


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