Note: this piece was originally published in Newsweek, and features a recent piece by Checks & Balances member Stuart Gerson in Just Security.
A former deputy to Attorney General William Barr during his tenure in the first Bush administration has written a new column assailing Barr’s intervention in the sentencing of Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump.
In an article for Just Security, Stuart M. Gerson, who helmed the Justice Department’s civil division from 1989 to 1993, described Stone as “a crony of the president” whose assist from the department suggests a “whiff of favoritism.”
Barr was attorney general for just over a year at the end of the George H.W. Bush administration.
“It looks to many present and former federal prosecutors that undue leniency was being afforded to a privileged, white friend of the president, who himself lent credence to the charge of favoritism by his relentless social media criticism of the case, the prosecutors, and even the presiding judge,” Gerson wrote.
Around one week ago, more than 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials, from both Democratic and Republican administrations, signed an open letter calling on Barr to step down after the Stone controversy came to a head. That number has since swelled to more than 2,600 Justice Department alumni.