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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Thomas Gallatin / Feb. 21, 2020

Stone’s Sentence Exonerates Barr, Proves Trump Correct

Three years in prison is far less than the seven to nine years DOJ prosecutors originally recommended.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Roger Stone to three years and four months in prison for lying to and obstructing Congress. Significantly, the sentence falls well short of the seven to nine years Justice Department prosecutors had initially recommended — a recommendation that Attorney General William Barr called excessive, leading him to overrule and withdraw the prosecutors’ recommendation.

Controversy was sparked after President Donald Trump publicly weighed in on the excessive sentencing recommendation prior to Barr’s announcement of his review. Much of the mainstream media claimed Trump had pressed Barr to act. Barr responded to Trump by essentially telling him to stop publicly commenting on DOJ criminal cases as it was making it “impossible” for him to do his job.

Seeking to fuel the false narrative of a Trump-Barr collusion scandal, all four prosecutors on the Stone case withdrew in protest of the DOJ leadership’s decision. Predictably, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Barr’s decisions and called for an investigation: “It is outrageous that DOJ has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing its recommendation. Stepping down of prosecutors should be commended & actions of DOJ should be investigated.”

This was a self-inflicted controversy Trump could have avoided. As Mark Alexander observed, “Trump unintentionally set up Barr for claims of collusion and corruption, and left Barr in between a rock and hard place. As Barr noted: ‘Once [Trump’s comment posted], the question is, now what do I do? Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back?’”

Fortunately, irrespective of the MSM narrative and Pelosi’s politically calculated objections, Judge Jackson agreed that the federal prosecutors’ original sentencing recommendation was excessive, proving the assessments of both Barr and Trump correct. However, Judge Jackson did excoriate Stone in her sentencing, stating, “The truth still exists; the truth still matters. Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t, his belligerence, [and] his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the foundations of our democracy. If it goes unpunished, it will not be a victory for one party or another. Everyone loses. The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.”

It has become apparent that Trump is acting to establish his own narrative to counter that of the Democrats and their media allies. As ham-fisted as he may be at times, he is likely setting the stage for his eventual decision to pardon Stone and others caught up in the Democrats’ and the deep state’s politically motivated Russia-collusion hoax. And Trump is correct in noting that they were all targeted in a concerted effort to seek his removal from office. Will Trump act to pardon Stone before the election?

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