#ImpeachBarr and #DisbarBarr Trend After Roger Stone's Prosecutors Resign Over DOJ's Decision to Lower Prison Sentence

The hashtags #ImpeachBarr and #DisbarBarr began trending on Twitter across the United States on Tuesday afternoon after four lawyers who prosecuted Roger Stone resigned from the case after the Department of Justice backed away from their lengthy recommended prison sentence for President Donald Trump's longtime ally.

The DOJ announced their decision to seek a lower sentence hours after Trump called the recommended seven to nine year prison sentence "very horrible and unfair." However, the department said the prosecutors made the recommendation on Monday night without notifying the Trump administration and before the president issued his tweet.

Their recommendation came after Stone was convicted of charges including witness tampering, obstruction of a House investigation and lying to Congress, which stemmed from his involvement in the FBI's probe into whether Trump's 2016 campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the presidential election.

If the seven to nine year jail recommendation was sought, it would have been the harshest sentence issued to any Trump aide charged in relation to former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The DOJ's move to back away from their own prosecutor's sentencing recommendation is a rare one considering it had already been lodged with the court.

All four career prosecutors handling Stone's proceedings requested to withdraw from the case shortly after the DOJ announced their decision, with one resigning from his position. In a court filing, Jonathan Kravis, an assistant U.S. attorney, said he had resigned from the case and his government job. The three other prosecutors, Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, Adam Jed and Michael Marando, sought permission from a judge to withdraw from the case. Although Zelinsky said he also planned on leaving his special assignment to the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office, he indicated he will still continue working as an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore, Maryland.

William Barr
U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee May 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. Barr testified on the Justice Department's investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. Win McNamee/Getty

The events that unfolded quickly prompted Trump critics to lash out at Attorney General William Barr, who had a key role in clearing the president of obstruction of justice following Mueller's findings. Barr, a key Trump ally, discredited the Russia probe as one based on a "bogus narrative." The DOJ's move on Tuesday further raised questions about political interference in a department designed to function independently.

Tens of thousands of Barr critics took to Twitter to weigh in on the DOJ's decision, with some users accusing the Attorney General of abusing his power and others calling for his impeachment. As of Tuesday afternoon, #ImpeachBarr rose to the second most-trending topic and #DisbarBarr to the 10th on the social media platform in the United States.

"DOJ cuts Roger Stone sentencing recommendation: I have never seen a clearer case of political interference in a criminal case. I think we know who made this happen. Barr should be disbarred. #DisbarBarr #RogerStone #DOJ #Trump," former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson tweeted.

"We've lost the Justice Department: Three Roger Stone prosecutors resign from case after DOJ backpedals on sentencing recommendation #disbarbarr," former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi tweeted.

"#ImpeachBarr before the entire Department erupts in flames," user @PauletteParis1 wrote.

"The DOJ is reducing the sentencing recommendations for Roger Stone. The prosecutor resigns in protest. It's time to #ImpeachBarr," user @DemocracyStorm tweeted.

"Call the House over and over again until they start #Impeachment hearings against Barr. Leave messages. (202) 224-3121 This is absolutely critical to stopping fascism from taking over the whole system. The virus is spreading and we are the ONLY antidote. #ImpeachBarr," user @juliabhaber tweeted.

"The Attorney General does the President's bidding, irrespective of the rule of law. The Senate has proven it will not act. There aren't many guardrails left. #DisbarBarr," user @petekwando wrote.