(USA Features) A former FBI counterintelligence analyst has admitted that the Justice Department’s decision to prosecute presidential ally Roger Stone but not former bureau Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for the same crimes revealed an obvious double legal standard.
“The declination of prosecution with McCabe seemed to be a tipping point where the perception of a double standard became reality,” Kevin Brock, a former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, told The Washington Times.
“You can chalk some of the others to coincidence or circumstances, but the McCabe declination — after all we learned — was particularly galvanizing.”
Both men lied to federal prosecutors or to Congress, a federal offense which can be, and has been, prosecuted.
Nevertheless, “Roger Stone is awaiting a 40-month prison sentence while Andrew McCabe enjoys life as a high-profile CNN commentator, creating outrage among conservatives who see a political double standard when it comes to prosecutions of false statements,” the Times reported.
Stone was convicted in November by a Washington, D.C., jury of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
Initially, prosecutors pushed for a harsh seven-to-nine-year sentence for Stone, 67, but the Justice Department overruled that and recommended a lighter sentence. The federal judge in the case, Amy Berman Jackson, agreed to the lower sentence.
Meanwhile, McCabe is working as a paid CNN analyst who is routinely critical of President Trump.
Other allies of the president have also been convicted and/or sentenced for lying to federal investigators. They include:
— Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos served 12 days in prison for making false statements to the FBI.
— Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, who awaits sentencing on charges of making false statements. He pleaded guilty in 2017.
— Former Trump campaign figure Rick Gates pleaded guilty to a host of charges, including making false statements. He admitted his crime and cooperated with prosecutors.
Meanwhile, Democrat-leaning officials have not been treated similarly, the Times reported:
— President Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder Jr., was investigated by the House Judiciary Committee after denying that he approved prosecutions of journalists for leaking materials. It was later revealed that he approved the wiretap of a Fox News journalist; no charges were ever filed.
— Former ranking IRS official Lois Lerner was accused of lying to Congress on four occasions regarding her knowledge of a program that targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. She was referred for prosecution but the Obama Justice Department declined to bring charges.
— Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress in 2013 that the National Security Agency did not collect data on millions of Americans. But documents later leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden proved Clapper was not telling the truth. And while many Republicans accused Clapper of perjury before Congress, again, the Obama Justice Department declined to bring charges.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, referred several people suspected of lying about sexual misconduct in 2018 during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
But nearly two years later, Grassley has yet to receive a response on those referrals.
“Bogus claims during the Kavanaugh nomination risked diverting limited resources away from our important work. Unfortunately, it seems federal authorities have an uneven view of who requires accountability, especially when the liar is one of their own,” Grassley told the Times in a statement.