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Ditkaless Wonders

Stone Case Prosecutors

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5 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

Wait, what?  Career civil servants with years of work in federal courts are the political interference, but the DOJ brass (all political appointees) are not?  That's your claim?

Some of Trump’s supporters remind me of my teenage children. 

Me: It's 11o'clock, I told you to be home by 10! Where the hell have you been?!! 

Kid: You didn't say which day. 

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2 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Where are you getting this?

So, it was reported that DOJ brass was "surprised" by the recommendation, which was not "what was briefed."  Note that it has not been reported that the four line prosecutors briefed DOJ.  And why would they?  What was also floated was that the line prosecutors "bullied" Shea, the new US Attorney.

So. reading between the lines, here is what seems most plausible to me.  Liu is removed and replaced with Shea, an aide to Barr.  Who briefs Barr about his plans to recommend a lower sentence.  Shea meets with the line prosecutors and provides the new direction.  The line prosecutors inform Shea that political interference is inappropriate and they will file a noisy withdrawal if forced to change their sentencing recommendation.  Shea caves.  Barr decides to nevertheless insist on a revised recommendation.  The line prosecutors follow through on withdrawing.

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There is one problem- Roger Stone didn’t really do anything wrong.  Even Credico was regretful that he had to do time over this horse ####.  A scalp for overzealous prosecutors out to find a conspiracy where there was none.  Weird hill to die on.  

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38 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

So, it was reported that DOJ brass was "surprised" by the recommendation, which was not "what was briefed."  Note that it has not been reported that the four line prosecutors briefed DOJ.  And why would they?  What was also floated was that the line prosecutors "bullied" Shea, the new US Attorney.

So. reading between the lines, here is what seems most plausible to me.  Liu is removed and replaced with Shea, an aide to Barr.  Who briefs Barr about his plans to recommend a lower sentence.  Shea meets with the line prosecutors and provides the new direction.  The line prosecutors inform Shea that political interference is inappropriate and they will file a noisy withdrawal if forced to change their sentencing recommendation.  Shea caves.  Barr decides to nevertheless insist on a revised recommendation.  The line prosecutors follow through on withdrawing.

Very plausible theory.

Orv they could be deep state hoaxers with a political axe to grind.

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7 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

Wait, what?  Career civil servants with years of work in federal courts are the political interference, but the DOJ brass (all political appointees) are not?  That's your claim?

So who do you think tipped off the news folks so that they could be at Stone's house when they broke down the door and perp walked him?

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12 minutes ago, Sand said:

So who do you think tipped off the news folks so that they could be at Stone's house when they broke down the door and perp walked him?

I honestly have no idea and hasn't thought about it until this day. Was it one of the line prosectors that got overruled by Barr?

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1 hour ago, ren hoek said:

Even Credico was regretful that he had to do time over this horse ####.

>>>Randy Credico @Credico2016

As the son of a man who spent 10 years in prison, I have consistantly opposed incarceration. That being said, Trump's vile smear job on the 4 DC prosecutors were appalling and ominous. In my experience, I found them to be professional, moral, ethical and non partisan.

7:39 AM · Feb 12, 2020<<<

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37 minutes ago, Sand said:

So who do you think tipped off the news folks so that they could be at Stone's house when they broke down the door and perp walked him?

They weren't already paying close attention to all things Roger Stone?

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1 hour ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

So, it was reported that DOJ brass was "surprised" by the recommendation, which was not "what was briefed."  Note that it has not been reported that the four line prosecutors briefed DOJ.  And why would they?  What was also floated was that the line prosecutors "bullied" Shea, the new US Attorney.

So. reading between the lines, here is what seems most plausible to me.  Liu is removed and replaced with Shea, an aide to Barr.  Who briefs Barr about his plans to recommend a lower sentence.  Shea meets with the line prosecutors and provides the new direction.  The line prosecutors inform Shea that political interference is inappropriate and they will file a noisy withdrawal if forced to change their sentencing recommendation.  Shea caves.  Barr decides to nevertheless insist on a revised recommendation.  The line prosecutors follow through on withdrawing.

You’re only saying that because it’s exactly what makes sense. And the other version doesn’t. 

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15 minutes ago, Endowed said:

They weren't already paying close attention to all things Roger Stone?

No, they rushed over there at zero dark thirty to catch the action.  

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16 minutes ago, Sand said:

No, they rushed over there at zero dark thirty to catch the action.  

CNN's @davidgshortell was on the ground when Roger Stone was arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this morning. He says he was monitoring the situation because of "unusual grand jury activity in Washington D.C. yesterday."

He didnt rush. He was already there.

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When defending Stone, Trump stated, “You have murderers and drug addicts that don't get nine years.”

When did we get back to the idea that drug addicts deserve long sentences?

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5 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

When defending Stone, Trump stated, “You have murderers and drug addicts that don't get nine years.”

When did we get back to the idea that drug addicts deserve long sentences?

Well, drug dealers deserve the death penalty according to donald

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35 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

When defending Stone, Trump stated, “You have murderers and drug addicts that don't get nine years.”

When did we get back to the idea that drug addicts deserve long sentences?

Trump just gave a drug addict the Medal of Freedom.

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2 hours ago, Sand said:

So who do you think tipped off the news folks so that they could be at Stone's house when they broke down the door and perp walked him?

Who approved such an egregious overuse of force and resources to used as props in a big political stunt?

 

 

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Imagine next week when her Honor exercises her own judgement.  The reputation destruction machine will get cranked up to 10.  Does he start by denigrating females or Obama appointees?  

Edited by Ditkaless Wonders
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2 hours ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

Imagine next week when her Honor exercises her own judgement.  The reputation destruction machine will get cranked up to 10.  Does he start by denigrating females or Obama appointees?  

Yes

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6 hours ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

Imagine next week when her Honor exercises her own judgement.  The reputation destruction machine will get cranked up to 10.  Does he start by denigrating females or Obama appointees?  

How often do federal judges deviate from the federal sentencing guidelines?

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33 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

How often do federal judges deviate from the federal sentencing guidelines?

I do not practice in federal court so I only have impressions rather than knowledge on the subject.  I would say substantially less often than not.

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1 hour ago, Punxsutawney Phil said:

The Tomeka Hart lady is going to force them to reverse the sentence.  What a dope, people can't help themselves when it comes to social media.

Judge Jackson already rejected the motion for new trial, so no.

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14 hours ago, Sam Quentin said:

Who approved such an egregious overuse of force and resources to used as props in a big political stunt?

 

 

A political stunt is threatening Hillary Clinton with jail during a presidential race (and then, for obvious reasons, not following through). 
 

Stone appears to have committed actual crimes. Several of them. 
 

 

Edited by Zow
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6 hours ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

I do not practice in federal court so I only have impressions rather than knowledge on the subject.  I would say substantially less often than not.

While the porportion to my overall caseload has diminished in recent years due mainly to geographical changes, a significant portion of my practice when I was in the Phoenix area was federal criminal defense (mainly illegal re-entry and drug transportation cases). I can't say that my experience is ample sample size to extrapolate data to speak to the percentage of time that federal judges deviate downward, while rare is does happen. Funny story is that on my very first case I actually convinced the judge to downwardly depart from the guideline range and word got around the CADC so I had an influx of new cases. Of course, in those future cases the judges generally stayed within the guidelines so, alas, there is further proof that I cannot perform miracles. 

To provide some background on federal sentencing, a person's sentencing ranges and the recommendations to the judge thereupon are not pulled out of thin air. Compared to most state sentencing guidelines, the federal sentencing code is very very complex. I remember I had to spend hours learning the code and the matrix and, at time, it felt like I was looking at a complex math problem. Nonetheless, the federal sentencing code is designed in a way to promote consistency. In practical terms, this basically means that (and it's more complicated than this) when a person is facing federal charges you look at the actual charge and then account for any prior convictions. Generally, this then gets you on a point on the chart which dictates the particular ranges a person faces at trial. In plea negotiations, the federal prosecutor will issue offer to reduce the level of charge (or eliminate multiple charges) or will maybe not allege a prior conviction. This serves to move the defendant on the chart into a lesser range. Federal prosecutors also, in my experience, like to bargain to basically promise not to recommend something higher on the range.  

When a defendant reaches a plea agreement in federal court, the defendant is then referred to the federal probation office for a pre-sentence report/interview/evaluation. Unlike most state courts, the federal probation officer's evaluation and recommendation is usually very in depth, consistent with the law, and taken very seriously by the judge. At sentencing a judge will rely heavily on this report. Defense counsel and the prosecutor will usually provide their own recommendations (as defense counsel usually my main goal was trying to argue against parts of the pre-sentence report and, frankly, I was far more worried about what is in that report than what the prosecutor recommended). As one can expect, usually the prosecutor asks for the higher end of the range, the defense attorney makes arguments for the lower end of the range or, pursuant to the Booker case, asks the judge to "downwardly depart" below the range." Probation usually falls within the middle which is why, in my experience, the judge most often sentences most closely to probation's evaluation/recommendation. 

The above paragraph is why I found what happened in this Stone case to be so shocking. As I mentioned in the previous post, there were multiple other ways that the DOJ could have handled this if they thought the original recommendation was too harsh. Also, I'm curious now to know what pre-sentence report's recommendation is because, frankly, that's probably going to carry more weight than the prosecutor's recommendation. Nonetheless, what occurred here isn't normal and I don't see any evidence or suggestion that this was some political stunt by rogue prosecutors. Generally speaking, obtaining a position as a federal prosecutor is not easy and is a highly sought after position.  In other words, most federal prosecutors are seasoned prosecutors and not some fresh out of law school prosecutors who may not have yet developed a sense of what sort of time a case merits. I would imagine in a sensitive case such as this quality federal prosecutors with experience would have been assigned and I imagine their sentencing recommendation wasn't based on whim or political bias. 

But, at this point, wtf do I know?

Edited by Zow
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Nancy Pelosi on Trump's comments on Roger Stone sentencing recommendation:

"This is an abuse of power that the president is, again, trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interests. And the president is what he is. He thinks he's above the law."

"The withdrawal of the four career prosecutors on the case, what an act of courage on their part. It must be commended ... The attorney general has stooped to such levels. He's lied to Congress ... engaged in these activities ... What a sad disappointment to our country."

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9 minutes ago, Zow said:

While the porportion to my overall caseload has diminished in recent years due mainly to geographical changes, a significant portion of my practice when I was in the Phoenix area was federal criminal defense (mainly illegal re-entry and drug transportation cases). I can't say that my experience is ample sample size to extrapolate data to speak to the percentage of time that federal judges deviate downward, while rare is does happen. Funny story is that on my very first case I actually convinced the judge to downwardly depart from the guideline range and word got around the CADC so I had an influx of new cases. Of course, in those future cases the judges generally stayed within the guidelines so, alas, there is further proof that I cannot perform miracles. 

To provide some background on federal sentencing, a person's sentencing ranges and the recommendations to the judge thereupon are not pulled out of thin air. Compared to most state sentencing guidelines, the federal sentencing code is very very complex. I remember I had to spend hours learning the code and the matrix and, at time, it felt like I was looking at a complex math problem. Nonetheless, the federal sentencing code is designed in a way to promote consistency. In practical terms, this basically means that (and it's more complicated than this) when a person is facing federal charges you look at the actual charge and then account for any prior convictions. Generally, this then gets you on a point on the chart which dictates the particular ranges a person faces at trial. In plea negotiations, the federal prosecutor will issue offer to reduce the level of charge (or eliminate multiple charges) or will maybe not allege a prior conviction. This serves to move the defendant on the chart into a lesser range. Federal prosecutors also, in my experience, like to bargain to basically promise not to recommend something higher on the range.  

When a defendant reaches a plea agreement in federal court, the defendant is then referred to the federal probation office for a pre-sentence report/interview/evaluation. Unlike most state courts, the federal probation officer's evaluation and recommendation is usually very in depth, consistent with the law, and taken very seriously by the judge. At sentencing a job will rely heavily on this report. Defense counsel and the prosecutor will usually provide their own recommendations (as defense counsel usually my main goal was trying to argue against parts of the pre-sentence report and, frankly, I was far more worried about what is in that report than what the prosecutor). As one can expect, usually the prosecutor asks for the higher end of the range, the defense attorney makes arguments for the lower end of the range or, pursuant to the Booker case, asks the judge to "downwardly depart" below the range." Probation usually falls within the middle which is why, in my experience, the judge most often sentences most closely to probation's evaluation. 

The above paragraph is why I found what happened in this Stone case to be so shocking. As I mentioned in the previous post, there were multiple other ways that the DOJ could have handled this if they thought the original recommendation was too harsh. Also, I'm curious now to know what pre-sentence report's recommendation is because, frankly, that's probably going to carry more weight than the prosecutor's recommendation. Nonetheless, what occurred here isn't normal and I don't see any evidence or suggestion that this was some political stunt by rogue prosecutors. Generally speaking, obtaining a position as a federal prosecutor is not easy and is a highly sought after position.  In other words, most federal prosecutors are seasoned prosecutors and not some fresh out of law school prosecutors who may not have yet developed a sense of what sort of time a case merits. I would imagine in a sensitive case such as this quality federal prosecutors with experience would have been assigned and I imagine their sentencing recommendation wasn't based on whim or political bias. 

But, at this point, wtf do I know?

Sounds spot on to me.  Of course I am now in my dotage.

Edited by Ditkaless Wonders

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15 hours ago, ren hoek said:

There is one problem- Roger Stone didn’t really do anything wrong.  Even Credico was regretful that he had to do time over this horse ####.  A scalp for overzealous prosecutors out to find a conspiracy where there was none.  Weird hill to die on.  

He lied to Congress five times and absolutely tried to get Credico to lie too. He then lied on the stand. Who cares if Credico feels bad?  
 

FWIW, I expect that Judge Berman Jackson won’t apply some of the enhancements sought in the sentencing memo.  But all Stone had to do was tell the truth, particularly if his interactions with Wikileaks were so benign. 

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5 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

How often do federal judges deviate from the federal sentencing guidelines?

They deviate from the prosecutions recommendation fairly often. You’ll recall that Manafort got a shorter sentence than was asked for. Remember that the range of the guidelines may be broader than that asked for in the sentencing memorandum. 

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2 hours ago, Zow said:

A political stunt is threatening Hillary Clinton with jail during a presidential (and then, for obvious reasons, not following through). 
 

Stone appears to have committed actual crimes. Several of them. 
 

 

You're only saying that because he was convicted of several crimes by a jury in open court.

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15 hours ago, ren hoek said:

There is one problem- Roger Stone didn’t really do anything wrong.  Even Credico was regretful that he had to do time over this horse ####.  A scalp for overzealous prosecutors out to find a conspiracy where there was none.  Weird hill to die on.  

You should tell the jury that convicted him.  They'll be very surprised.

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Because of course...

Trump Claims Roger Stone Jury Was Tainted by Bias

“Citing a report from Fox News, President Trump said Thursday the jury that convicted his friend Roger Stone had a biased member — a claim by the defense team that had been dismissed by a federal judge a day earlier,” the New York Times reports.

Said Trump: “Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias. Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the ‘Justice’ Department.”

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56 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

He lied to Congress five times and absolutely tried to get Credico to lie too. He then lied on the stand. Who cares if Credico feels bad?  
 

FWIW, I expect that Judge Berman Jackson won’t apply some of the enhancements sought in the sentencing memo.  But all Stone had to do was tell the truth, particularly if his interactions with Wikileaks were so benign. 

How common is it for lying to congress to be prosecuted? 

I can't really think of many instances of lying to congress so maybe that's what causes the number to be small. Rafael Palmeiro is all that comes to mind (before current admin at least) 

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1 minute ago, parasaurolophus said:

How common is it for lying to congress to be prosecuted? 

I can't really think of many instances of lying to congress so maybe that's what causes the number to be small. Rafael Palmeiro is all that comes to mind (before current admin at least) 

It’s uncommon, mostly because it’s somewhat rare that you would have a federal investigation looking into conduct that is also being looked at by Congress.  Normally, Congress would need to refer the matter to the DOJ. 
 

But if we just determine that it isn’t a big deal, then I guess we can end all of these fights over who can testify because we all agree that witnesses can lie without consequences. 

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56 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

He lied to Congress five times and absolutely tried to get Credico to lie too. He then lied on the stand. Who cares if Credico feels bad?  
 

FWIW, I expect that Judge Berman Jackson won’t apply some of the enhancements sought in the sentencing memo.  But all Stone had to do was tell the truth, particularly if his interactions with Wikileaks were so benign. 

What was there to take the stand for?  It’s not a crime to talk to Wikileaks or ask what they had.  The pretense for even going there was predicated in the most flimsy way only by their pursuit of a false conspiracy theory.  They knew it was false long before they ridiculously expanded the investigation to Stone & Jerome Corsi. 

Stone is a huckster and a liar but he doesn’t need to do hard time for getting hung up in a pointless wild goose chase. 

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Once again I am truly amazed that supporters of the law and order president are siding with convicted felons. Oh, and so is the law and order president.

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1 hour ago, Henry Ford said:

You're only saying that because he was convicted of several crimes by a jury in open court.

Again, wtf do I know about this stuff? @Sam Quentin seems far more certain about things than me. 

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1 hour ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

He lied to Congress five times and absolutely tried to get Credico to lie too. He then lied on the stand. Who cares if Credico feels bad?  
 

FWIW, I expect that Judge Berman Jackson won’t apply some of the enhancements sought in the sentencing memo.  But all Stone had to do was tell the truth, particularly if his interactions with Wikileaks were so benign. 

I would have the same expectations. Which is why I’m still somewhat shocked at how clunky Barr’s involvement in this was. There were many subtle yet equally as viable to aid to soften the sentence without just outright throwing these four prosecutors likely just trying to do their jobs under the bus. 

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34 minutes ago, Amused to Death said:

Because of course...

Trump Claims Roger Stone Jury Was Tainted by Bias

“Citing a report from Fox News, President Trump said Thursday the jury that convicted his friend Roger Stone had a biased member — a claim by the defense team that had been dismissed by a federal judge a day earlier,” the New York Times reports.

Said Trump: “Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias. Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the ‘Justice’ Department.”

Have you checked out the Fore person's social media yet?  

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1 hour ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

They deviate from the prosecutions recommendation fairly often. You’ll recall that Manafort got a shorter sentence than was asked for. Remember that the range of the guidelines may be broader than that asked for in the sentencing memorandum. 

Plus Booker gives the judge some fairly broad discretion to deviate. 

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1 minute ago, Max Power said:

Have you checked out the Fore person's social media yet?  

Should the Foreperson be a Trump supporter? Or do you think there's a person with no opinion one way or the other who could possibly fill the role?

Also, I assume each jury member was approved by the defense team.

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5 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

It’s uncommon, mostly because it’s somewhat rare that you would have a federal investigation looking into conduct that is also being looked at by Congress.  Normally, Congress would need to refer the matter to the DOJ. 
 

But if we just determine that it isn’t a big deal, then I guess we can end all of these fights over who can testify because we all agree that witnesses can lie without consequences. 

In order to determine how big of a deal Barr interjecting is we need to know was the sentencing outlandish(which I admit to me at first glance seemed super outrageous but I have realized I really might not be making fair comparisons). In order to determine that we would need to know how many people get sentenced for similar crimes, how long they get sentenced for, how common is prosecution, etc. 

I honestly have no idea how often people lie to congress, how often we determine they lied to congress, and what happens after that. I am not trying to gloss over the witness intimidation part, which is obviously very wrong, and may in fact make this case completely unique, but it was also subsequent.  

If it is concluded that people almost never lie to congress, but when they do, they are prosecuted, and the average sentence for that is xyz and because he threatened a witness it becomes abc so Barr can only be interjecting because Trump wants it. If we determine that the sentencing should have been much less, then we can't simply rule this to be the DOJ being politicized. It certainly isn't the first time that the atty general has stepped on toes before, so the merits of it are important. 

Simple googling here doesn't help me since this admin is all I get results for even if I try to exclude terms and the year 2020, but that also may be my answer if others can't be found, they might just not exist. 

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6 minutes ago, Max Power said:

Have you checked out the Fore person's social media yet?  

I have. Amazing how they must have been invisible to Stone’s legal team for the duration of the trial. 

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1 minute ago, parasaurolophus said:

In order to determine how big of a deal Barr interjecting is we need to know was the sentencing outlandish(which I admit to me at first glance seemed super outrageous but I have realized I really might not be making fair comparisons). In order to determine that we would need to know how many people get sentenced for similar crimes, how long they get sentenced for, how common is prosecution, etc. 

I honestly have no idea how often people lie to congress, how often we determine they lied to congress, and what happens after that. I am not trying to gloss over the witness intimidation part, which is obviously very wrong, and may in fact make this case completely unique, but it was also subsequent.  

If it is concluded that people almost never lie to congress, but when they do, they are prosecuted, and the average sentence for that is xyz and because he threatened a witness it becomes abc so Barr can only be interjecting because Trump wants it. If we determine that the sentencing should have been much less, then we can't simply rule this to be the DOJ being politicized. It certainly isn't the first time that the atty general has stepped on toes before, so the merits of it are important. 

Simple googling here doesn't help me since this admin is all I get results for even if I try to exclude terms and the year 2020, but that also may be my answer if others can't be found, they might just not exist. 

Yeah, we don’t have to do any of that because the criminal code does it for us. How “serious” a felony is determined by the class of felony. Which is determined by the legislature. A prosecutor doesn’t decide whether a rape is more serious than a burglary. 

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8 minutes ago, Amused to Death said:

Should the Foreperson be a Trump supporter? Or do you think there's a person with no opinion one way or the other who could possibly fill the role?

Also, I assume each jury member was approved by the defense team.

Yes.  There are plenty of people who aren't political junkies.

And no, you assumed wrong.  The judge denied a defense request to remove a juror they thought had anti-trump bias.  

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1 minute ago, Max Power said:

Yes.  There are plenty of people who aren't political junkies.

And no, you assumed wrong.  The judge denied a defense request to remove a juror they thought had anti-trump bias.  

In large part because it was raised after the conviction. 

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1 hour ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

They deviate from the prosecutions recommendation fairly often. You’ll recall that Manafort got a shorter sentence than was asked for. Remember that the range of the guidelines may be broader than that asked for in the sentencing memorandum. 

It would be neato torpedo if he gave Stone 15 years to spite Barr & Trump.

Edited by Sheriff Bart

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Just now, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Yeah, we don’t have to do any of that because the criminal code does it for us. How “serious” a felony is determined by the class of felony. Which is determined by the legislature. A prosecutor doesn’t decide whether a rape is more serious than a burglary. 

Completely disagree. If the criminal code spells out the penalty is xyz, but there is a history of people not getting xyz, then it matters a great deal. It also matters how often each individual crime gets charged. So for example if somebody telling 10 lies to congress usually just gets charged with lying to congress or do they get charged 10 times.

Hopefully we can get some clarity from Barr himself, but obviously I highly doubt it. 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

In large part because it was raised after the conviction. 

It was raised before also. 

Quote

But the two rapid-fire events forced a 45-minute delay right off the bat, after the questioning of only the first of 80 potential jurors.

And that first juror was an only-in-D.C. character, a former Obama-era press secretary for the Office of Management and Budget whose husband still works at the Justice Department division that played a role in the Russia probe that ultimately snagged Stone. She even acknowledged having negative views of President Donald Trump, and said she had followed the media coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Still, the woman said she did not have strong views about Stone, and Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the case, denied a request from Stone’s lawyers to strike the woman as a potential juror.

From this article when the trial opened. 

ETA: As RHE clarifies in subsequent post, this info was not correct by me here. Figured since I was last post on page, I should add this. 

Edited by parasaurolophus

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