Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

The Roger J. Stone Kerfuffle

February 19, 2020 --

The outcry over President Trump's tweet, expressing his outrage at the 7 - 9 year sentence U.S. prosecutors recommended in the case of Roger J. Stone, a friend of the president,  along with Justice Department reconsideration of the excessive recommendation, reminds LPR of the story of Pharaoh at the beginning of Exodus, the pharaoh whose heart kept hardening until he let the children of Israel go, and then had his heart harden even further, till he and his army  met their  doom at the Red Sea, after the children of Israel walked to safety past the divided waters.  The increasingly hardened New York Times heart was indicated in the paper's February 13 editorial, "Mr. Trump's  Rule of Lawlessness." The Times denounced   the president's  harsh criticism of the prosecution of Mr. Stone,  and the original recommended sentence as "alarming behavior, even by the debased standards of this president."  This post-impeachment acquittal expression of anti-Trump  bile  from the left was no doubt exacerbated by withdrawal of four federal prosecutors on the case.

Significantly, two of the Stone prosecutors were on the staff of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation of the president, as pointed out by The Wall Street Journal, in a February 14 editorial. "Trump's Worst Enemy," -- an editorial  that, in chiding the president, said, in part:  "He is helping the Democrats who are running against the Senators who voted to acquit."    But, in LPR's view, as already here indicated, the hearts of the  Democrats and their media cheerleaders will only harden as the presidential campaign proceeds, as the left will not cease, in LPR's view, in seeing President Trump as an illegitimate president who most be removed from office at all costs.   (Note, however, that this view expressed by Joe Biden has not helped his presidential aspirations>)

In the context of the Stone kerfuffle, LPR would point out that he was convicted by a federal jury in the District of Columbia on an indictment brought  by Robert Mueller III.  Why were any members of the Mueller anti-Trump prosecution team involved in the prosecution of Mr. Stone, a prosecution brought in a venue where the members of the jury were not likely to view the president favorably , and, thereefore  the association of Mr. Trump and Mr. Stone likely gave the defense a tough road to hoe.

The invidious nature of the prosecution is clearly indicated by the nature of service by the FBI of the arrest warrant for Mr. Stone. According to CNN, "A number of law enforcement vehicles with silent sirens flashing pulled in front of Stone's home on a darkened Ft. Lauderdale street just after 6 a.m. Friday morning [January 25, 2019]. 

The CNN account, January 25, 2019 continued, "About a dozen officers with heavy weapons and tactical vests fanned out across Stone's lawn."   Were they there to serve an arrest warrant for a domestic terrorist, a serial killer?  Hardly. Mr. Mueller had indicted Mr. Stone, mainly,  for lying to Congress and witness tampering.

LPR does not recall any comment from the president  on the Stone trial, while it was underway. Indeed had the president commented on Mr. Stone's situation while the trial was underway, wouldn't House Democrats have included presidential comments on the Stone case as a third article of impeachment? Still, nothing the president did interfered with the trial.  Those concerned about reaction from the Trump-haters to the president's tweets must realize that the uproar from the left would only be greater were, after sentencing, he pardoned Mr. Stone, as is within the president's constitutional authority. And imagine the firestorm the left will try to ignite should President Trump visit Moscow for its Victory Day commemoration, May 9, open the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism.     

The New York Times reported, February 14, that Attorney General William Barr, interviewed on ABC, rebuked the president for attacking the recommendation by prosecutors of the 7-9 year sentence for Roger Stone.   Buried in the Times story was the report that the attorney general told ABC that he intended to reduce the recommended sentence prior to learning of President Trump's criticism.

LPR would also call its clicksters' attention to this comment, directed in part, against the attorney general, in the February 13 Times editorial:  "As Republicans in Congress abdicate their responsibility to act as a check on the executive and Mr. Trump packs the Justice Department with loyalists like Mr. Barr, the nonpolitical administration of justice depends all the more on career civil servants who have dedicated themselves to upholding the law, and not to  helping a president abuse his office."

The salient point remains,, and LPR is confident Attorney General Barr is well aware of it:   for the Trump-hating crowd, the very fact of the presidency of Donald John Trump constitutes abuse of office.

President Trump should have realized by now that the hearts of Democrats will only harden further in the months ahead, and, more importantly, congressional Republicans should be aware of this -- and recall the lesson of Exodus, those whose hearts increasingly harden in contempt for others are due for come-uppance, themselves.