Constitutional Scholar: The Rule Of Law Is Being “Suffocated” By Trump And Barr
The rule of law in the United States is “gasping for breath” under President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, a prominent constitutional scholar at Harvard said this week, made obvious by the Roger Stone sentencing scandal.
Laurence Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and professor of constitutional law at Harvard, tweeted that Trump and Barr are wielding “immoral power.”
"The Rule of Law is gasping for breath, being suffocated by Trump and his personal henchman Bill Barr," Tribe wrote. "Not even a pretense of legality. They're doing it because they can. It's raw, naked, unprincipled, immoral power."
Newsweek noted that Tribe’s comments came as both Trump and the Justice Department were under fire for apparently interfering in the sentencing recommendation for Stone — “a Republican strategist and former Trump campaign adviser convicted of seven felonies.” Stone also has been a longtime friend and confidant of the president.
In its court filing, the Justice Department said the original sentencing memo "does not accurately reflect" the justice department's position on "a reasonable sentence in this matter," adding that the court should decide what is appropriate.
Four prosecutors on the case quit in response to the move.
"The district court judge should pay no attention to Barr's politically driven recommendation. It's not binding on her and deserves no deference at all,” Tribe wrote in another tweet.
He also responded to Trump’s tweet attacking the judge handling Stone’s case, writing: "So great that Judge Amy Berman Jackson isn't subject to Trump's influence! Thank heaven for the independent judiciary. Let Trump spew whatever garbage his foul mouth blurts out. Nobody need listen."
Though the Justice Department and Trump have both insisted that the president was not consulted in the matter, Trump congratulated Barr in a Wednesday tweet for “taking charge” of Stone’s sentencing.
“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” the president wrote. “Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”