Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy, with occasional snowfall, and a high of thirty-six. Sunrise is 6:55 AM and sunset 5:22 PM, for 10h 27m 29s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 85.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln is born.
Recommended for reading in full —
Mikhaila Fogel, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, Benjamin Wittes write The President Tweets and the Justice Department Complies:
Corruption of the justice system has two major elements. The first—at issue in the Ukraine scandal—is the use of state power to go after one’s enemies. The other is the ability to restrain government power to reward one’s friends and allies.
A dramatic display of this latter power took place today, Feb. 11, when the U.S. Department of Justice, having articulated in court its view of an appropriate sentence for President Trump’s associate Roger Stone—convicted recently on multiple felony counts—confronted an angry presidential tweet and then meekly reversed course in a second filing.
The action prompted multiple career prosecutors to withdraw from the case.
We don’t know exactly what might have gone on within the Justice Department during the hours between when the first Stone memo was filed and when the department decided it had made an egregious error. But it is highly irregular for the department to act as it did today, intervening to overrule career prosecutors to urge leniency for a presidential friend. To act as it did in the immediate wake of a presidential statement decrying the handling of the case and in the face of the withdrawal from the matter of the prosecutors in question creates a heavy presumption of irregularity.
Nor is this the first time that the Justice Department has backtracked on a sentencing recommendation in a high-profile Mueller-related case. In December 2018, nearly two years after former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with Russian officials prior to the Trump inauguration, the special counsel’s office filed a sentencing memo suggesting a downward departure from the zero to six months of prison time recommended by the guidelines—meaning that Flynn would get no custodial sentence at all.
Julia Davis reports Russians Think Triumphant Trump Is More Their Man Than Ever:
Russian state media have welcomed enthusiastically the recent U.S. Senate acquittal of President Donald J. Trump. Having predicted this outcome for his impeachment trial, Russian experts and state-media pundits are anticipating beneficial side effects for the Kremlin as Trump is more Trump—and more Russia’s Trump—than ever.
Dmitry Kiselyov, the host of Russia’s popular Sunday news program Vesti Nedeli, said, “Democrats are openly raging, but while they’re licking their wounds, Trump can now objectively afford to pursue a more positive course of action toward Russia—just as he planned all along while being elected for the first term.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent invitation to Trump to attend Victory Day festivities in Moscow this spring is designed to bring the U.S. president ever deeper into the Kremlin fold. Appearing on Sunday Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, politician Sergey Stankevich asserted, “Donald Trump has to come to Moscow in May, no doubt about it. He is obligated to be here.”