AG Bill Barr claims his own prosecutors were trying to treat Roger Stone and Mike Flynn ‘more harshly’ because they were ‘friends of the president’ as he defends handling of controversial cases
- Attorney General Bill Barr said Tuesday that Michael Flynn and Roger Stone were treated ‘more harshly’ by prosecutors due to their ties with the president
- ‘I agree the president’s friends do not deserve special breaks, but they also don’t deserve to be treated more harshly than other people,’ Barr said
- Stone served as Trump’s 2016 campaign adviser and Flynn as Trump’s first national security adviser during the first month of his presidency
- Both were both prosecuted as relating to their ties to the president and communications with Russia
- Stone’s five-nine-year sentence was commuted by Trump and Flynn’s charges were dropped by Barr’s DOJ
Bill Barr asserted Tuesday Roger Stone and Michael Flynn were not treated fairly by prosecutors claiming Justice Department individuals were trying to levy harsher sentences because of their relationships with President Donald Trump.
‘I agree the president’s friends do not deserve special breaks, but they also don’t deserve to be treated more harshly than other people,’ the U.S. Attorney General said during a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.
‘The cases that are cited, the Stone case and the Flynn case – both cases where I determined that some intervention was necessary to rectify the rule of law to make sure people are treated the same,’ he continued during Republican Representative Mike Jonhson’s questioning.
Barr acknowledged that it’s difficult for the Justice Department to treat everyone fairly ‘especially when you know you will be castigated’ for decisions and outcomes.
‘But that is what the rule of law is and that’s what fairness to the individual ultimately comes to – being willing to do what’s right for the individual,’ he assured.
Johnson replied to Barr’s response with an ‘Amen.’
Stone served as an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign and General Flynn served as the president’s national security adviser for only one month in the beginning of his presidency.
Both men faced lawsuits involving their time with Trump and their communications with Russia – as related to the investigation into the Kremlin interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Attorney General Bill Barr said Tuesday that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aide Roger Stone were treated ‘more harshly’ by prosecutors due to their ties with the president
‘I agree the president’s friends do not deserve special breaks, but they also don’t deserve to be treated more harshly than other people,’ Barr said of the two cases
Barr made the claim in response to Rep. Mike Johnson during his questioning time at the House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. Johnson responded, ‘Amen’ to Barr’s comments
Stone (left) and Flynn (right) were both prosecuted as relating to their ties to Trump and communications with Russia. Stone’s five-nine-year sentence was commuted by Trump and Flynn’s charges were dropped by Barr’s DOJ
A court in Washington D.C. recommended Stone serve between seven and nine years for lying to Congress.
Trump and senior administration officials decried the decision as a ‘miscarriage of justice,’ prompting speculation that there was political interference, with critics claiming the sentencing should have actually been more harsh.
‘Stone was prosecuted under me, and I said all along I thought that was a righteous prosecution,’ Barr told House lawmakers during the oversight hearing Tuesday. ‘I thought he should go to jail, and I thought the judge’s sentence was correct.’
‘But the lying prosecutors were trying to advocate for a sentence that was more than twice what anyone else in a similar position had ever served,’ he claimed.
‘And this is a 67-year-old man, first-time offender, no violence,’ the Attorney General said of Stone. ‘And they were trying to put him in jail for seven to nine years. And I wasn’t going to advocate that, because that is not the rule of law.’
On July 10, 2020, Trump commuted his former campaign aide’s sentence – just days before he was set to report to prison.
Flynn was also charged during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, but he agreed to a plea bargain in a D.C. court.
As part of the agreement, and in a show of cooperation with Mueller’s investigation, the three-star retired general pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
Trump publicly called for the charged against his former adviser to be dropped.
Flynn was never officially sentenced, with his hearing being indefinitely postponed just one day before the scheduled date amid appeals and developing information – including his claim that his previous lawyers violated his constitutional rights by providing inadequate legal counsel.
Barr declared in February of this year that Flynn’s case would be reviewed by a Trump-appointed prosecutor, who ultimately recommended in the spring that Barr drop the charges .
The U.S. attorney general took that recommendation.