Judge in Roger Stone case schedules Tuesday phone hearing

Attorney-General William Barr who has been one of Mr Trump's closest allies since taking over at the Justice Department said the commentary from the President made it

"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 states. The nonpartisan, nonprofit group said that the attorney general has "flouted" that fundamental principal. "And Barr's facilitating it is beyond my comprehension", he said.

The hearing comes just before Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday and almost a week after all four federal prosecutors resigned from the case.

The letter comes days after some Democratic senators pressed for Mr. Barr to resign, and after the New York City Bar Association said that it had formally reported the Attorney-General's behaviour to the Justice Department's inspector-general.

The condemnatory letter follows Barr's move to lessen the recommended sentence of Stone, a Trump associate who was convicted of charges including witness tampering and obstructing congress, in the wake of the president tweeting that his original recommended sentence of seven to nine years was too harsh.

Barr has said he did not talk to the president about the Stone sentence, but current and former Justice Department officials have criticized the attorney general sharply.

Pointing out that the impetus for the letter is related to Barr's interference in the Roger Stone case that led to prosecutors who handled it resigning en masse, the Times also reports that the signees, "Also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency's inspector general and to Congress. The Justice Manual - the DOJ's rulebook for its lawyers - states that "the rule of law depends on the evenhanded administration of justice"; that the Department's legal decisions "must be impartial and insulated from political influence"; and that the Department's prosecutorial powers, in particular, must be 'exercised free from partisan consideration, '" the petition stated.

Attorney-General William Barr who has been one of Mr Trump's closest allies since taking over at the Justice Department said the commentary from the President made it
Judge in Roger Stone case schedules Tuesday phone hearing

The letter notes that Barr did an interview with ABC News that he criticized the president's tweets but says that "Mr. Barr's actions in doing the President's personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words".

Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, where he will likely be pressed by Democrats about Stone as well as other issues.

And a former prosecutor said his clients have expressed concern about cooperating with investigations out of fear that the Justice Department could interfere improperly in a case, putting them in jeopardy.

Facing a mounting outcry, Mr Barr rebuked Mr Trump in a television interview last Thursday, saying the President's tweets were making his job "impossible". "I can not do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me".

Moreno has already said that the resignation of the prosecutors on the Stone case had "seriously shaken" the public's confidence in the justice system, but called for the recent developments to be put in proper perspective. "I'm gonna do what I think is right".

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