Op-Ed By Brian Cates
Two high profile cases involving former Trump associates had shocking developments in the past several days.
All hell broke loose over three straight days at the trial of former Trump associate Roger Stone who had been charged with perjury, witness tampering and obstructing a Congressional investigation.
Stone was convicted on six counts back on November 15 and the four member Mueller Special Counsel prosecution team working out of the US Attorney’s office in Washington DC filed their sentencing memorandum on February 10 with presiding judge Amy Berman Jackson.
From what has been reported, Attorney General William Barr and other top Department of Justice [DOJ] officials were stunned to hear in media reports that the Mueller prosecution team had recommended that Stone, a 67 year old man with no prior criminal record, be given a sentence of between six and nine years in prison.
Barr and others were stunned because those same prosecutors had just briefed them about what their sentence recommendation would be, and this filing didn’t come close to matching what they’d been told.
The DOJ took quick action to reverse the extreme recommendation, filing its own memorandum with the court.
By the end of that same day, all four Mueller prosecutors had resigned, and much of the news coverage was claiming the DOJ had 'reversed' itself when it had done nothing of the sort.
Once again, the Mueller Special Counsel team of Angry Democrats did something outrageous with the full knowledge that Barr would be forced to respond to their behavior, and then the Democrats and the DNC Media Complex could savage him for it.
This is not the first time the Mueller prosecutors have sabotaged the Attorney General.
The Summary Letter Sabotage
The troubled history between Barr and the Mueller Special Counsel team began almost immediately after Mueller announced in late March of 2019 that he’d concluded his investigation into the Russian government’s interference efforts in the 2016 election.
Barr mentioned several times in interviews that there was grand jury material in this report that would have to be redacted before the public could read it.
For some reason, that remains completely unexplained, the Special Counsel's Office did not redact any of this classified grand jury information. Even after Barr took the effort to remind them this was part of their job.
Despite all reminders from Barr to redact the grand jury information, Mueller’s team snidely handed over a report with all this classified grand jury material unredacted.
This failure of the Mueller Special Counsel team to do its job delayed the report's release because Barr had to insist the redactions of this classified material be done. Barr was then “blamed” in the media for this “unnecessary” delay, not the Special Counsel team that had refused to fulfill its own legally required obligations.
While the report was being redacted, Barr wrote and publicly released a summary letter in which he briefly outlined the findings of the Special Counsel’s investigation. The Mueller team took full advantage of this redaction delay by writing their own letter to the media in which they made the absurd claim that Barr had deliberately misrepresented what the Mueller Report actually stated.
Once the Mueller Report was made public and people could read it for themselves, it became clear Barr's summary letter did not, in fact, “hide” or “distort” anything Mueller had found.
You’re not supposed to remember any of this, of course, as you have watched this latest fiasco unfold over the past week.
An Incredibly Biased Juror
As if the Stone case couldn't get any more absurd, the resignation of the four prosecutors was followed the next day by the revelation that an incredibly biased juror had not only made it onto the Stone jury, she was the forewoman who was leading the jury when it voted to convict.
It turned out the juror in question, Tomeka Hart, has both a social media history of pronounced bias against Trump and his associates and a political history of having run for office as a Democrat that should have INSTANTLY disqualified her from the jury pool.
Attorney General Barr Appoints Flynn Case Special Outside Counsel
Now following all of THAT, on Friday February 14th, the Dept of Justice announced that Barr had appointed a Special Counsel to examine the OTHER fiasco of a case against another Trump associate, Lt. General Michael Flynn.
Barr tapped the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, to review the Mueller prosecution team and FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team's handling of the process perjury case against Flynn, a case that has dragged on indefinitely since Flynn entered a guilty plea on December 1, 2017.
It is not an exaggeration to say that literally every single FBI person involved in creating and then handing off the Flynn perjury case to the Mueller Special Counsel has massive credibility problems. Three of them – former Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Special Agent Peter Strzok – were fired from the FBI for cause. One – Lisa Page – was forced to resign under a cloud. And one – Special Agent Joseph Pientka – has been so effectively ghosted by the DOJ that in 3 years I've only been able to find one picture that purports to be Pientka, and I'm still not sure that it’s him.
So, to say this case can't ever go to trial would be the most massive understatement of all time.
To try to sum up everything that has gone on in this strange case would be a column in itself, so here's just the latest developments: Flynn and his defense team, led by lawyer Sidney Powell, have filed to withdraw his guilty plea due to gross prosecutorial misconduct. The media, of course, started reporting that the prosecutors in the case could now try to seek additional charges against the General.
Barr appointing Jensen to step in and review this case should bring some clarity.
Key Person Overseeing Both Stone & Flynn Cases Just Got Replaced
Any theory to explain what just happened in the Stone and Flynn cases must consider the epic game of “musical chairs” that Trump and Barr just played on a former US Attorney.
Both the Flynn and Stone cases were being handled out of the US Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia. The same US Attorney was overseeing both cases. That US Attorney was Jessie K. Liu. Emphasis on 'was' – past tense.
Stone was convicted on November 15th. Trump announced he was nominating Liu to the Treasury job on...December 10. Liu accepted the nomination, and Timothy Shea was promoted from being counsel to Attorney General Barr to replace her.
Liu initially planned to stay put in the DC US Attorney's office until her confirmation hearing, but on February 1, Barr asked her to leave in order to ensure continuity in the office, so she made way for Shea, according to a NBC News report.
And it turns out Liu has no Treasury job waiting for her, and the person presently overseeing both the Flynn and Stone cases is a chief Barr lieutenant.
Had Trump directly fired Liu to replace her with a trusted Barr associate, the hue and cry that would have been raised would have been enormous. But Trump did not fire her, you seen, She voluntarily left the DC office for a better job at the US Treasury Dept that suddenly wasn't hers after all.
This was reported in a sullen fashion by the DNC Media Complex, but there was nothing like the level outrage among Democrats or the media as there would have been if Trump had thundered at her “YOU’RE FIRED!”
There has been commentary for some time that posits Trump being either too blind or far too timid to take the blow-back that would be necessary to shield people like Flynn and Stone from being targets of these politically motivated prosecutions.
I would hope the way Trump and Barr masterfully executed this tag-team of replacing Liu with Shea and then bringing in several outside prosecutors to examine how the DC US Attorney's office has been performing it's work would lay such concerns to rest.
Brian Cates entered the political arena in March 2012, following the death of Andrew Breitbart. He is currently a political columnist for The Epoch Times and UncoverDC. Brian is based in South Texas and is the author of: “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!”