Democrats subpoena Roger Stone prosecutor and top anti-trust official saying they will turn whistleblower and reveal Bill Barr’s plot to ‘politicize’ Justice Department
- House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler said they will speak to ‘lasting damage’ done by Barr and Trump
- Zelensky was one of the prosecutors who quit the case after the DOJ pushed to drop the charges against Stone
- Stone is a longtime friend of the president’s and pleaded guilty to lying to Congress
- Another witness is Justice Department antitrust prosecutor John Elias
The Democratic-run House Judiciary has subpoenaed former Robert Mueller prosecutor Aaron Zelensky in a hearing featuring ‘whistleblowers’ who will testify about alleged politicization of Bill Barr’s justice department.
Zelensky is one of four federal prosecutors who took himself off the Roger Stone case after the government reversed its decision after recommending a prison term for President Donald Trump’s long-time informal advisor.
He was also a top prosecutor for Mueller during the Russia probe. He will testify later this month at the committee, providing a counter-point to ongoing hearings in the Republican-run Senate on the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and alleged FBI misconduct.
Roger Stone leaves Federal Court after a sentencing hearing February 20, 2020, in Washington, DC. Aaron Zelinsky is one of four prosecutors who took themselves off the case when top DOJ officials did a 180 on their recommended sentence for the longtime Donald Trump advisor
‘The Committee welcomes the testimony of current and former Department officials who will speak to the lasting damage the President and the Attorney General have inflicted on the Department of Justice,’ said Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler, who was a House impeachment manager during Trump’s impeachment trial over his conduct toward Ukraine.
The witnesses are ‘prepared to describe the unprecedented politicization of the Department under President Trump and Attorney General William Barr,’ said Nadler.
‘Again and again, Attorney General Barr has demonstrated that he will cater to President Trump´s private political interests, at the expense of the American people and the rule of law,’ said Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler in a blistering statement
Another witness is Justice Department antitrust prosecutor John Elias. Elias served as chief of staff during DOJ’s decision to oppose the merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Trump had publicly blasted the merger, and has regularly inveighed against Time Warner-owned CNN for its coverage of him.
Elias is acting chief of staff to Makan Delrahim, who head’s DOJ’s antitrust division.
‘Again and again, Attorney General Barr has demonstrated that he will cater to President Trump´s private political interests, at the expense of the American people and the rule of law. He has abruptly reversed course on prosecutions against the President´s allies and friends. He has pursued pretextual investigations against the President´s perceived political enemies,’ said Nadler.
Nadler has tried repeatedly to get Barr to testify before his panel. He was finally set to appear in March, but cancelled the appearance amid the coronavirus outbreak.
A third witness, former deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush Donald Ayer, is also testifying without a subpoena.
Career prosecutors recommended a sentence of up to nine years in prison for Stone, 67, in February, drawing furious tweets from the president. Barr’s Justice Department then did a 180 and recommended a lower sentence. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
Nadler took a shot at Barr for his failure to appear. ‘The Attorney General—who cites his busy schedule as a basis for refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee but has made time for multiple television interviews—may have abdicated his responsibility to Congress, but the brave men and women of our civil service have not,’ he said.