Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, defended Attorney General William Barr’s decision to step in and overrule the four Justice Department prosecutors’ sentencing recommendations for President Trump ally Roger Stone.
Kennedy described it as a process problem whereby rules or protocol were not followed.
“If the reporting is accurate, the frontline prosecutors did not communicate with their supervisors,” Kennedy told CNN.
“When you're dealing with a public figure [Roger Stone in this case] frontline prosecutors can't act unilaterally. They can't act unilaterally in indicting. They can't act unilaterally in proceeding. They can’t act unilaterally in sentencing recommendations. They have to get the okay from their supervisors at Justice. And my understanding is based on reporting, that the frontline prosecutors did not clear their sentence recommendations with the supervisors at Justice, and they were overruled,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy however, did not defend Trump’s tweets congratulating Barr for stepping in, in which the President said, “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.”
Kennedy said, “Now, when the President tweeted out that made the whole thing problematic.”
Earlier today: Trump tweeted another complaint that stated, “Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”
Kennedy said he failed to see a link between the President’s misgivings about the recommended 7-9 year sentence and Barr stepping in.
“I haven't seen any evidence that that Justice changed its position or formulated its position, based on the President's tweet, if somebody can show me evidence more than speculation I’ll begin to consider,” Kennedy said.