Over 1,100 former Justice Department officials are calling for Attorney General William Barr to step down, after he intervened to reduce the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend and former campaign adviser Roger Stone. In an open letter published Sunday, the former officials write, “Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies.” Barr intervened in the case after Trump called Stone’s sentence of seven to nine years a “miscarriage of justice.” Four federal prosecutors withdrew from the case, and one resigned from his job, over Barr’s actions. On Friday, Trump claimed he has the power to intervene in criminal cases. In response to Barr’s statement last week that Trump has never asked him to “do anything in a criminal case,” Trump tweeted, “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!” A group of nine Democratic senators, including presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, also called for Barr’s resignation in an open letter Friday.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Barr has reportedly assigned an outside prosecutor to review the criminal case against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to federal investigators about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.