Kellyanne Conway says Trump works ‘hand in glove’ with Bill Barr but denies president asked the AG to intervene in Roger Stone’s sentencing
- Conway said Sunday that Trump didn’t interfere in Stone’s case
- Justice Department on Tuesday backtracked its sentencing recommendation
- Came hours after Trump complained about the recommendation on Twitter
- Conway said that Trump had every right to comment on criminal cases
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway has denied that President Donald Trump asked Attorney General Bill Barr to intervene in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, but conceded that Trump and Barr work ‘hand in glove.’
‘The president of the United States has not asked or directed his attorney general privately to do anything in any criminal matter, including Roger Stone,’ Conway told Fox News Sunday.
‘Number two, he works hand in glove with the attorney general, as we all are privileged to do, on any number of matters that affect this country,’ she continued.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department backpedaled after prosecutors recommended a nine year sentence for Stone, a former Trump campaign advisor who was convicted on seven counts including lying to Congress and witness tampering.
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway has denied that President Donald Trump asked Attorney General Bill Barr to intervene in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone
On Tuesday, the Justice Department abandoned prosecutors’ initial recommendation to give the veteran Republican operative Roger Stone seven to nine years in prison
‘The president hasn’t done that,’ Conway said of Trump directly contacting Barr to intervene in a criminal case. ‘He said he hasn’t done it. Bill Barr said he hasn’t done it. He hasn’t done it. That’s incredibly important.’
Conway said it was ‘disingenuous’ to say presidents don’t comment on criminal matters.
It comes after a whirlwind week of developments in the Stone case.
Stone demanded a retrial late Friday after the jury foreperson was revealed to be an anti-Trump Democratic Congressional candidate who posted about Stone’s arrest before his trial.
The foreperson, Tomeka Hart, revealed her identity in a Facebook post where she defended the federal prosecutors who handled the case – after Trump publicly attacked them this week.
On Sunday, more than 1,000 former U.S. Justice Department officials called for Barr to resign over his handling of the Stone trial.
Conway said it was ‘disingenuous’ to say presidents don’t comment on criminal matters
The former officials, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, criticized Barr, the country’s top law enforcement officer, for overruling his own prosecutors in a case that has prompted accusations that the Trump administration is weakening the rule of law.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department abandoned prosecutors’ initial recommendation to give the veteran Republican operative Roger Stone seven to nine years in prison after he was found guilty in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering, prompting all four prosecutors to quit the case.
‘It is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case,’ said the letter, published on the website Medium.
‘Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign,’ the letter said.
Stone was found guilty in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump had heavily criticized the original sentencing request for Stone and the Justice Department subsequently abandoned it, instead deciding to make no formal sentencing recommendation.
Democrats blasted the department’s shift in the high-profile case involving Stone, whose friendship with Trump dates back decades. Stone’s trial arose from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that detailed extensive Russian interference in the 2016 election to benefit Trump’s candidacy.
Barr said on Thursday in an interview with broadcaster ABC that Trump’s criticism of those involved in the Stone case ‘make it impossible for me to do my job.’