The US justice system is facing a crisis of credibility that could undermine the integrity of federal prosecutors, politicize the legal handling of Donald Trump’s friends and enemies, and ultimately threaten democracy itself, top lawyers warn.
A barrage of former justice department figures have sounded the alarm following a decision on Tuesday by the US attorney general, William Barr, to undercut a sentencing recommendation for Trump’s friend Roger Stone. In a new court filing, Barr’s office condemned the initial recommendation of seven to nine years in prison as “excessive and unwarranted”. [...]
Chiraag Bains of Demos, who worked for four years as a DoJ prosecutor, told the Guardian he was shocked by events.
“This will have serious consequences for staff morale at the justice department, for the credibility of justice department attorneys in court, and for the public’s sense that the justice system is fair. How are judges or juries supposed to have faith that prosecutors represent the impartial position of the United States and not a political agenda?” he said.