“Career prosecutor” misses the point

Jonathan Kravis was one of the attorneys who prosecuted Roger Stone. He resigned after the Trump/Barr DOJ recommended a lighter sentence for Stone than the attorneys who prosecuted Stone recommended. (I discussed Stone’s sentence here.)

In this Washington Post op-ed, Kravis attacks the revised Stone sentencing recommendation and the decision to drop the case against Michael Flynn. He calls both decisions “disastrous.”

But Kravis neglects to discuss the merits of either decision by Attorney General Barr. In most of his column, all he supplies is outrage and repeated references to “career prosecutors” — as if such prosecutors (1) can never be wrong and (2) can never be influenced by politics.

If Barr’s decisions regarding Stone and Flynn were truly “disastrous,” you would think Kravis could do better than making repeated appeals to the views of career prosecutors.

At the end of his piece, Kravis finally makes an argument. He says:

If the department truly acted because of good-faith commitments to legal positions, then where is the evidence of those commitments in other cases that do not involve friends of the president? Where are the narcotics cases in which the department has filed a sentencing memorandum overruling career prosecutors? Where are the other false-statements cases dismissed after a guilty plea?

There are none. Is that because the only cases in the United States that warranted intervention by department leadership happened to involve friends of the president? Of course not.

Kravis misses the point, at least as far as Flynn is concerned. Where are the cases in which the FBI treated a member of the executive branch at Michael Flynn’s level the way James Comey and his crew treated Flynn?

If Trump-hating FBI personnel sought to ensnare Flynn in a perjury trap because of his relationship to the president, then it’s fair for Attorney General Barr to scrutinize Flynn’s case in ways he wouldn’t do for matters involving defendants whose prosecution is unrelated to friendship with the president.

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