While many Democratic leaders decried President Donald Trump making his feelings known about the Roger Stone case, there was no such uproar when former President Barack Obama weighed in on the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton.
Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress and witness tampering in a criminal case stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
On Wednesday, the president told reporters he had not communicated directly with Attorney General William Barr regarding the case but felt Stone “was treated horribly,” adding the original nine-year-sentence recommendation by the DOJ prosecutors was a “disgrace.”
The DOJ pulled the recommendation following public comments by Trump, leaving the matter completely in the judge’s hands.
Barr insisted during a Thursday ABC News interview that Trump’s views had nothing to do with his department’s decision to withdraw the prosecutors’ proposed sentencing.
Nonetheless, Democrats wailed that a travesty of justice had taken place.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments on Thursday were among the most over-the-top.
“We saw the president this week demonstrate once again that he has no respect for the rule of law,” Pelosi said.
“This is an abuse of power that the president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interest,” she added.
Meanwhile, the speaker charged that Barr had “deeply damaged the rule of law” by pulling the sentencing recommendation.
“This all must be investigated,” Pelosi said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a formal request to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz earlier this week to open an investigation into the department’s decision to change the sentencing recommendation for Stone.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, no doubt trying to get airtime for her failing presidential campaign, has called for Barr to resign or be impeached.
“Congress should use spending power to defund the AG’s authority to interfere with anything that affects Trump, his friends, or his elections,” she tweeted.
Congress must act immediately to rein in our lawless Attorney General. Barr should resign or face impeachment. And Congress should use spending power to defund the AG’s authority to interfere with anything that affects Trump, his friends, or his elections.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 12, 2020
Where were these lamentations from Democrats when Obama waded in, multiple times, to voice his views about the DOJ’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, unsecured email server while she was secretary of state?
You’ll recall then-FBI Director James Comey held a news conference in July 2015 during which he exonerated Clinton from mishandling classified information while relating that her server contained thousands of classified emails, including some with top-secret information.
State Department policy called for Clinton to use an official government email address, which she chose not to do — no doubt to have full control over her correspondence.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said.
He said based on the facts the DOJ would not bring a criminal case.
In November 2017, opinion columnist John Solomon wrote for The Hill that Comey’s statement originally characterized Clinton’s conduct as “grossly negligent,” but that was changed to “extremely careless.”
“The change is significant, since federal law states that gross negligence in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines,” Solomon wrote.
Backing up this reporting, former FBI attorney Lisa Page testified in an exchange with GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas before the House Judiciary Committee in July 2018 that Obama DOJ prosecutors specifically ordered her not to charge Clinton with “gross negligence.”
Lisa Page confirmed to me under oath that the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information. pic.twitter.com/KPQKINBtrB
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) March 13, 2019
Obama made his opinion known on the matter, first in the fall of 2015 and then again in the spring of 2016.
The president said in an October 2015 interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that Clinton’s possession of the email server had not “posed a national security problem.”
“I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and — you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data,” Obama said. “And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it.”
The 44th president made similar points in a “Fox News Sunday” sitdown in April 2016, telling host Chris Wallace, “I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security.”
“Now, what I’ve also said is that — and she has acknowledged — that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing emails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.”
Isn’t it interesting that Comey used that exact same language — “careless” — to describe Clinton’s conduct.
Obviously, hypocrisy runs rampant in Washington, D.C., especially when it’s someone from your team under the microscope, but Pelosi, Schumer, Warren and the rest of the sanctimonious Democrats, spare me.
Obama weighed in on a case of far more significance than Stone’s four years ago, and not a peep.
Claiming the Trump Justice Department is overly influenced by politics is laughable when compared to what happened during the previous administration.
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