Former South Carolina Republican lawmaker Trey Gowdy on Wednesday blasted Democrats who are calling for Attorney General William Barr’s resignation following the Justice Department’s intervention in the sentencing of Roger Stone, an ally of President Donald Trump.
The calls came after the Justice Department recommended a lighter sentence for Stone than the 7 to 9 years four prosecutors handling the case had originally sought.
“The notion that Bill Barr should resign is about the dumbest damn thing I have ever heard,” Gowdy, a Fox News contributor, told host Martha McCallum.
Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) led the all for Barr’s resignation.
“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,” Warren — a 2020 Democratic presidential contender — tweeted.
“Attorney General William Barr ought to be ashamed and embarrassed and resign as a result of this action directly interfering in the independent prosecution of Roger Stone,” Blumenthal added.
Other Democrats have made similar calls while also criticizing President Trump for allegedly interfering in the case. The president has denied that.
“That the prosecutors wanted nine years, Bill Barr thinks that two or three years is more proportional and the only difference between the two is whether you count this eight-level enhancement for actively threatening a witness,” Gowdy — a former federal prosecutor — told McCallum.
“If you didn’t have that enhancement, then everyone would agree that Bill Barr’s view of the guidelines is accurate. So the judge is gonna decide whether or not that enhancement is appropriate, supported by the facts,” he added.
U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson Berman, an Obama appointee, will decide the sentence.
“Martha, this was a trial; she presided over the trial; she listened to the witnesses; she’s uniquely well-positioned to decide whether or not that enhancement should be in play, but the notion — I mean, prosecutors don’t sentence people,” Gowdy continued.
“Presidents don’t sentence people; Fox News commentators don’t sentence people; judges do. And we give them life tenure so they can make these calls,” he added.
“But the notion that Bill Barr should resign is about the dumbest damn thing I have ever heard. If a United States senator really believes that the head of the Department of Justice cannot weigh in on what a proportional sentence is — I mean, there are child pornographers who do not get nine years, Martha. There are people who rob banks that don’t get nine years. So let the judge decide. I think two or three years is about right,” he continued.