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CNN’s Jennifer Granholm Lights Up Trump for ‘Dictator’-Like Pressure on DOJ to Help Old Pal Roger Stone: ‘What a Banana Republic Does’

A CNN panel that featured former Midwest governors Jennifer Granholm and John Kasich tore into President Donald Trump for his transparently crude attempts at pressuring the Justice Department into reducing the sentence of his longtime confidante and now convicted felon, Roger Stone.

After Trump fired off a middle-of-the-night Tweetstorm calling the original seven to nine-year sentence recommendation “disgraceful” and warning he “cannot allow this miscarriage of justice,” the DOJ abruptly revised its “extreme” prison request on Tuesday, saying the sentencing revision was already in the works and that the president’s tweets were an “inconvenient coincidence.” That claim looked highly dubious, however, after all four of the federal prosecutors assigned to the case withdrew hours later in apparent protest at Trump’s interference in the case.

“It is extraordinary that the Department of Justice so quickly acquiesced after a tweet by the President of the United States,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper said, leading off the segment, Governor Granholm, you’re a former federal prosecutor, attorney general, is this at all normal?”

“Phhft, it’s clearly not normal and is clearly, utterly offensive to the rule of law,” a dismayed Granhold said. “This is what a Banana Republic does, this is what a dictator does. You help your friends and you use the Justice Department to punish your enemies. It is outrageous. I hope that people are infuriated by this. I mean, really, even his base has to see how important it is to have an unbiased justice system, and what he has done is poisoned it. Shame on him. He’s got to go.”

Kasich weighed in to ask “How much will voters put up with?”

“For voters who were for him before and they look like they are still for him,” Kasich went on, “and when they are looking at these things one after another, and will they finally say, we have had enough. I mean, that is really the question. I think.”

“Look, there are issues in the criminal justice system, and issues in the systems of laws,” Cooper acknowledged. “But for a president to be able to put their finger on the scale with a tweet and have the Department of Justice scurry around to adjust is… ”

“Well, two executives here, Anderson. As a governor…” Kasich added.

“Could you imagine?!” Granholm jumped in.

“I cannot imagine putting myself in the middle of some sentencing,” Kasich explained.

“I think that it is an assault on the rule of law, because a jury spoke and Roger Stone was found guilty and to go in to undo that and do that with 280 characters like Donald Trump did is devastating,” CNN analyst Bakari Sellers said, before expressing pessimism that the move will generate much outrage. “And I believe that the voters will tune out and become filled with despair, because they are tired of seeing the government not work for them and only work for select few. That select few all they do is to go over to the Trump hotel, sit in the lobby and drink martinis while the rest of the people in the country are suffering, so what the president does by eroding the rule of law day in, day out is help to build the desperation and despair amongst the voters in the country.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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