Bill Barr’s DOJ Says Trump Is Too Old for Another 4 Year Term

The supplemental sentencing memo DOJ submitted for Roger Stone after all the people who had prosecuted him withdrew from the case is a pained document. It starts with a highfalutin appeal to “sovereignty” of a prosecutor seeking “justice shall be done.” But ultimately, it doesn’t say what the sentence should be.

It is well established that the prosecutor “is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.” Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935). This axiom does not simply apply to the process of bringing charges or securing a conviction—it also “must necessarily extend” to the point where a prosecutor advocates for a particular sentence. See United States v. Shanahan, 574 F.2d 1228, 1231 (5th Cir. 1978) (reviewing sentencing conduct of prosecutor). Applying that principle here, to the specific facts of this case, the government respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration far less than 87 to 108 months’ imprisonment would be reasonable under the circumstances. The government ultimately defers to the Court as to the specific sentence to be imposed.

I could make a more compelling argument about what the sentence should be. But, aside from arguing the witness tampering was too serious (something that’s reasonable), that’s not really done here.

Ultimately, having laid out reasons why Stone should still be sentenced to about 4-5 years, the government then argues he should get a deal because he’s old, and in ill-health, and not that much of a rat-fucker.

Finally, the Court also should consider the defendant’s advanced age, health, personal circumstances, and lack of criminal history in fashioning an appropriate sentence.

Roger Stone is 67. If Roger Stone is too old the go to prison until he’s 74, then the guy on whose behalf DOJ is arguing, Donald Trump, probably is too old — at 73 — to run for a term that will last until he’s 78.

It’s not me arguing that 73 is too old for a four year term. It’s Bill Barr’s DOJ.

41 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    Roger is younger than me. At his age, I started medical treatment that will continue for 7 to 10 years. Ask me how I feel about long-term planning.

    • cavenewt says:

      Roger Stone is only a year older than me. I guess this gives me license to commit major felonies without much fear of long-term incarceration as a result.

  2. Anomalous Cowherd says:

    Nah. Trump will sue to subtract ten years from his legal age – so he’ll be a mere 63 – and Billy Barr will OK it. Perfect.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The actual submission seems weak tea, and a nauseating plea for issues normally advocated by defense counsel.

    The startling thing is Main Justice’s intervention this late in the game, having already pulled the DC USA, to replace her with a Barr crony (and then pulled her nomination for an alternative, lesser slot, presumably to keep her from testifying in her Senate confirmation).

    I’m gonna go long on shovels, because Bill Barr is digging so many holes, it looks like Spindletop dome about 1901, or Goodfellas Part 2.

    • Eureka says:

      Perhaps the most ironic example of that which you note is the part where they cite — and lean on — Credico’s “subjective beliefs” that Stone wouldn’t harm him, while omitting Credico’s fear of what the MAGA horde might do in response to Stone’s threats.

  4. Ed Smiley says:

    Clearly doesn’t pass smell test.

    There have to be some pretty embarrassing inculpatory internal documents piling up at DOJ now. Sadly, they may never see the light of day.

    • holdingsteady says:

      Maybe the US Prosecutors who withdrew will shed light at some point?
      PS, sorry for my accidental silly double post at first

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I posted on “Three Things: When the hangover ends” about today’s Fresh Air on NPR. Here is a link to the broadcast:

      The interviewee, McKay Coppins of The Atlantic, discusses how the Trump administration is throttling the Documents Department and pushing for algorithems that will automatically delete documents, such as those for ICE, like the reports about sexual abuse of minors in the detention centers by the officails holding them.

      You can guarantee that Barr and all of the rest of the criminals in Trumps administration are deleting all of the evidence as fast as possible.

      I dare you to not be chilled by what he says about the disinformation campaign as well.

  5. Zinsky says:

    If the judge were to truly take into account Roger Stone’s “personal circumstances”, the judge would be justified in sentencing Stone to the death penalty and to immediately be electrocuted, gassed and then shot. Roger Stone has single-handedly done more damage to American democracy than any other person in history.

  6. joelafisher says:

    It’s all about the executive clemency. Just like Flynn, the Judge has to impose a sentence light enough that Trump can’t site “harshness” as a rationale for letting Stone off, but still imposing what the ratfucker deserves. The Judge might be tempted to sentence him for conspiracy to subvert the election of 2016; something he’s clearly guilty of. But remember he’s not charged with that. Given the Judge’s various responses to Stone’s behavior while a defendant, I believe she knows what the fuck is going on and will thread the needle between so harsh that Trump exercises clemency right away and just letting the piece of shit walk and giving no excuse to Trump.

    • Peterr says:

      I disagree that she has to impose a sentence light enough that Trump can’t use that as an excuse for a pardon. There is *no* sentence that light, given how Trump looks at the world.

      You are also assuming that ABJ is willing to sentence someone not to what she thinks they deserve but what she thinks someone else believes they deserve. That, as they say, presumes facts not in evidence.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Agree. Roger is as perfect as Trump’s phone calls. No sentence would persuade Trump Roger hadn’t been mistreated – which Trump understands to mean that any law applies to him.

        Trump will pardon or commute as his whimsy takes him. ABJ can and will just do her job as she sees it.

      • Marinela says:

        So, knowing ABJ would not be deterred, what is the goal, purpose for DOJ interfere, after the prosecutors send their guidelines?
        To flush out the prosecutors, to force them to resign?
        But why?

        • cavenewt says:

          Isn’t most of what Trump does simply for the goal of having soundbites and Fox News clips to keep his low-information base riled up? In other words, it’s all about the optics. As has been amply demonstrated since 2016, truth, defendability, and logic have very little to do with anything.

    • Pragmatic Progressive says:

      The memo was endorsed:
      “Assistant United States Attorney
      Acting Chief, Criminal Division
      N.Y. Bar No. 2367670
      United States Attorney’s Office
      555 4th Street, N.W.
      Washington, D.C. 20530
      (202) 252-1794
      [email protected]

      DOJ apparently could not even locate a single person in the DC US Attorney’s office who is actually licensed to practice law as a member of the bar in the District of Columbia to sign the amended sentencing recommendation memo.


      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        US Attorneys and their legal staffs represent the US Government and practice federal law. They need not be admitted in the state in the district in which they practice, although they often are. They need only be admitted in any one US jurisdiction.

        That said, federal judges often demand that at least one lawyer on a team be locally admitted. State law issues often come up and local know-how is necessary for good relations and day-to-day matters.

        • bmaz says:

          Right. It matters not that Crabb’s bar admission is in New York. What matters is that no line level prosecutor signed on and the political document was signed solely by a political appointee. Halfway surprised Barr didn’t just sign it himself. In blood.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Note, too, that Crabb is only the “Acting” Assistant Attorney General – Criminal Division. That’s another Trump political appointee where Trump has avoided the work, disclosure, and politicking required to obtain mandatory Senate confirmation.

        Trump is the dumbest, laziest, most secretive, and ineffective president in American history. He has probably also committed the most crimes. Every structure he builds is made of holes and match sticks.

          • jplm says:

            The stakes are getting higher for Trump (no pun intended). Crime and cover up can only be maintained if he stays in office. Likely he will become more desperate in his moves to keep people silent and the election outcome in his favour.

  7. e.a.f. says:

    So the next time a senior citizens commits murder, but its their first crime, they ought to get a “pass” on the sentence. WoW, Barr, what a shift in attitude.
    Wonder why its only old white guys they want to give a pass to one the age thing. Not being able to “enjoy” a normal prison sentence is sort of like age discrimination. I’m sure Roger wouldn’t want to be age discriminated against………..
    So if this is the rational for Roger when is Madoff getting out of jail????

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bill Barr is not so much the Attorney General as Trump’s general counsel, as he was for a large telecoms company earlier. In large corporations with in-house legal staff, the deputy general counsel tends to run the law department. The GC – a corporate officer, sometimes a board member, and usually the board’s secretary – tends to cater to the CEO’s daily whims. The job is often described as keeping the CEO’s pile from hitting the fan.

    Barr, of course, is a cover-up artist with a long pedigree that goes back further. It dates from his being the lead architect in hiding Reagan-Bush’s Iran-Contra illegalities.

    Barr is doing nothing new for him – and shame on those legal stiffs who vouched for his good character. He is just following a bigger dirtier elephant, which means he needs higher boots and more shovels.

  9. bmaz says:

    It is well established that the prosecutor “is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.”

    LOL. What a load of shit.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Prosecutors are an arm of the president. As such, they are perfect – in the manner of the French Army in the Dreyfus Affair. They are always right, their goodwill cannot be questioned, and they may not be subject to sanction or criticism.

      I’ll bet Crabb’s (or possibly Barr’s) fantastic description of the prosecutor’s role drew a lot of sad laughter. My impression is that – where academics are subject to the rule of publish or perish – prosecutors are subject to the rule of win or walk.

      The “govern impartially” crap – which would seem to be unrelated to criminal prosecution – was especially rich, coming from the most divisive and partisan administration in modern times. When it comes to its own illegal conduct, it has adopted the Trumpian slogan, “So sue me and make me stop.”

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, that “govern impartially” shit has not trickled down to the prosecutors, federal and state, that I deal with. They are all like “LOL, we are the government, what do you expect?”

        • 200Toros says:

          This is probably one of the most disheartening things I’ve read in a long time. Disheartening, but not surprising.

          • bmaz says:

            Why? It is what it is. The government argues its case, and the defense argues theirs, then the court decides. That is the adversarial system. All I ask is a fair shake without a President or governor putting his or her thumb on the scale before a decision.

  10. biff murphy says:

    Given the fact that Stone had the stupidity/balls to post ABJ’s photo with cross-hairs I don’t see this going very well for ole Rog, agent provocateur…

  11. harpie says:

    Marcy just retweeted this from z3dster, who found something interesting in the metadata for the “Stone massacre”:
    8:57 AM – 12 Feb 2020

    Decided to look at the metadata for the Stone massacre […]
    Modified Sentencing Guide Lines created as PDF from Word at 4:40 Modified 6:10

    Oddly enough it appears Vesna Harasic-Yaksic [the author] is not currently employed by the DOJ! [screenshot] [This bio says she worked there from September 2015 to October 2017]

    I’m not sure what this might mean, but z3dster seems to think it’s pretty bad.

    • harpie says:

      Well, he just added an explainer for those of us not so quick on the uptake:

      […] to clarify:
      important: it appears all 4 lawyers resigned one after the other when asked to sign the doc

      unimportant but funny: The final guideline doc was created with an Adobe Acrobat license assigned to someone who left DOJ in 2017, which means they never wiped the PC

      • bmaz says:

        Meh, most all legal docs come off of templates, that is beyond irrelevant. That they refused one after another is interesting, but not necessarily surprising.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yep. If lawyers starting claiming copyright protection in their documents, it would become a circular firing squad. If they started writing them all from scratch, the legal world would slow to a crawl.

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