Cicilline Statement on Recent Actions by the Attorney General and the President Undermining the Rule of Law

Thursday, February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON – Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01) issued the following statement after U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that the President’s Tweets “make it impossible for [him] to do his job:


“It’s hard to understand what the Attorney General’s talking about given everything he’s already done to date. It was the Attorney General who spun the Mueller report before it was released, withheld the whistleblower report from Congress, and is now reported to be responsible for cases of interest to the President. I cannot think of a single case like Roger Stone’s, where senior Department of Justice officials intervened to reduce a sentencing recommendation.”


“I first called on the Attorney General to resign last May when it became clear that he had lied to Congress. Since then, his behavior has only grown worse. He is no longer our nation’s chief law enforcement officer. He’s consigliere to a president who acts like a gangster and uses the Oval Office as the headquarters of a criminal enterprise.”


“This week’s decision to reduce the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone shows that there is one set of rules for the President and his cronies, and another for the rest of us. Any other person convicted of these serious crimes would be preparing for a long stint in prison. Instead, Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering, is getting a family and friends discount on his incarceration. This is not how the justice system is supposed to work. It is especially shameful that the Attorney General is helping to advance the President’s worst impulses and using the power of the Department of Justice to do so.”


“There is no sign of how bad this will get. It seems clear that the President wants to continue retaliating against those people who testified against him in the impeachment trial. His treatment of Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is especially grave as he is now seeking additional punishment after already firing him from the National Security Council.”


“The Inspector General should immediately open an investigation into the Attorney General. More to the point, Republicans in Congress and anonymous officials in the Department of Justice need to stop saying how ‘troubled’ and ‘concerned’ they are and find the courage to speak out, on the record. If Republicans in Congress continue hiding behind the President, many of them will experience an early retirement this November.”




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