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Coons, Judiciary Committee colleagues demand investigation of Trump's influence on DOJ

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined other Democratic Judiciary Committee members in a letter to U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz demanding an investigation into recent DOJ actions that reflect a pattern of political influence to benefit President Donald Trump’s personal and political interests.

Specifically, the letter points to Attorney General William Barr and other political appointees overruling the sentencing recommendation made by career prosecutors in the case of Roger Stone, a top advisor to the president. Further, the letter points to Barr reportedly intervening in the case of Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn by appointing an outside prosecutor to scrutinize the work of career prosecutors. The letter includes an appendix of additional actions that suggest a pattern of political interference at the DOJ.

“The public record provides a number of reasons to believe that President Trump or other White House officials are seeking to influence the Justice Department’s handling of certain investigations, civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions,” wrote the senators. “Our concern is that politically motivated enforcement of federal law could become standard practice. This would permanently damage the integrity and independence of the Justice Department.”

In addition to Coons, the letter is signed by each Minority Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee: Sens. Kamala Harris, D-California; Dianne Feinstein, D-California; Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont; Richard Durbin, D-Illinois; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota; Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.

The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2PblB9b.