Doug Collins (R-GA) is the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, run by Jerry Nadler (alias Oliver Hardy). He was interviewed by Laura Ingraham on her Fox News Channel show about the Democrat push to turn the Stone sentencing issue into another impeachment inquiry, the need for Republicans to combat Democrat attacks on the President, and the need for Republicans to proudly propagate the conservative philosophy that underpins all of the successes during the Age of Trump. Here is some of that Q&A:
Ingraham: Is Jerry Nadler setting this up to become another impeachment inquiry?
Collins: Yes, he is. It was Eric Swalwell (D-CA) [also a Judiciary Committee member] who first got there saying, “This is another part of impeachment.”
Ingraham: (played a video clip of Swalwell with CNN’s Jake Tapper saying that “we’re not going to let the President torch our democracy because he’s been let off once and we’re not going to do something about it [the Roger Stone sentencing]” Torch this democracy? This is a party that can’t hold an Iowa caucus or do a poll for the Des Moines Register.
Collins: OMG, if Eric Swalwell could find a match to light a torch, that would be interesting. This is crazy. There is nothing happening here except there is Bill Barr, the adult in the room, saying, “wait, wait, look, look, we have a problem here” (with the overly harsh sentencing memo). This is nothing but the Deep State lashing out again saying, “We didn’t get anything with Mueller, we didn’t get any Crossfire Hurricane … In fact, with the problems of Crossfire Hurricane, why don’t we go back and actually look at the entire corrupt process of Comey, McCabe, Page, Strzok, Brennan, Clapper; it’s time we started looking at that.
Ingraham: The President shouldn’t have to waste his time on this anymore. He needs to focus on policy and winning this next election. I can see why he gets frustrated, though, when Senate Republicans let people slide all the time. The let the Kavanaugh stuff slide … with that leak out of Diane Feinstein’s office, that slid – I don’t know where that investigation went. And on this same deal, they had that whistleblower collaborating and conspiring with Schiff, and now what? When is anyone gonna pay for this? But the President shouldn’t have to worry about this.
Collins: I think he needs to look forward and say exactly what he’s done for the American people. When I travel across the state of Georgia, people keep asking, “Why do they keep attacking the President? He’s doing good.” It’s time for members of the House and the Senate to stand up on the Republican side and say, enough of this crap out of the Democrats. Enough of this attacking the president. And this constant investigation, this constant demeaning of him, this constant trying to smear him … there’s only one reason. They have a clown car bunch of candidates, and they’re not gonna win because the President has the best message and the best messenger in himself, and he’s showing the world what we can actually do here. This is the part that I want our Republicans to do – share our message of conservatism … it actually matters to all Americans.
Ingraham: Philosophy matters. I think, as Reagan understood, as the President at his core understands it … he gives a great speech on foreign policy … you understand why America First has strengthened us and kept our allies safe. The more prosperous we are, the more likely it is that we’re gonna have the wherewithal to help other countries. He makes that point really well.
Collins: He makes it really great. When he talks about it oversea and comes back home, he means it here as well. When he talks about African-American communities, when he talks about minority communities, when he talks about how everybody is lifted up, that’s what makes us different. When you talk about criminal justice reform, when we talk about those things, that’s what makes him different.
Ingraham: The media are trying to paint you and your colleagues as hypocrites. (played a video clip showing snippets of media figures arguing that Republicans raised hell about Loretta Lynch’s meddling in the Hillary email server investigation but are silent about the Stone sentencing kerfuffle) Is this a fair comparison – Barr-Trump versus the Clinton-Lynch meeting on the tarmac?
Collins: No, that’s a ridiculous comparison. That was actually an investigation about them [the Clintons]. And when the President made a comment about this [Stone’s overly harsh sentencing], he’s talking about an investigation that we’ve already proven had significant holes in it. And before that, AG Barr had this information beforehand. He was not influenced by [the President’s tweets]. Again, let’s do away with the hysterics, ….
Ingraham (interrupting): I can’t wait until he [Barr] is up there testifying at these hearings [Barr agreed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions “before the end of March”]. …. Bill Barr is awesome; I love how he drips with absolute condescension to their hysterics, and I hope he does it again and educates and schools them again.
End of interview. Nothing earth-shaking, but it’s pretty clear that Republicans aren’t buying the latest Democrat histrionics regarding the Roger Stone sentencing issue. Stone was tried by Mueller’s highly partisan prosecutors in front of what appears to have been a rigged jury (the foreman was a former Democrat congressional candidate and virulently anti-Trump in her social media), with the trial presided over by an Obama-appointed judge who refused any defense requests to remove partisan jurors before the trial started (and who is now supposed to decide on the “correct” sentencing of Roger Stone). Doug Collins hints about those “holes” in the case. He knows the score.
As a chaser, Laura Ingraham reminded us of the unfairness of the sentencing recommendation made by the prosecutors in the Roger Stone case in a short interview with Harmeet Dhillon (lawyer and former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party):
Ingraham: … These Mueller prosecutors wanted at up to 108 months for Roger Stone – that’s nine years. For comparison sake, the sentencing guidelines for using a gun in a violent crime – trafficking drugs, for instance – is up to 60 months. If you brandish that firearm, it goes up to 84 months. And consider this: Ethan Couch killed four people [while driving drunk] and got two years. The Massachusetts man convicted of killing a state trooper … got 5-7 years. Remember Brock Turner? He got three months for sexual assault. … Harmeet, why is this hysterical response from the Left so off base?
Dhillon: Well, what they should be responding to hysterically is the abuse of the process of the prosecutors to seek enhancements of the sentencing guidelines that are unjustified, and most lawyers are reacting to that. … The enhancement was, Roger Stone allegedly made these threats … “I’m going to kidnap your dog” – to one of his friends, when he was trying to say he shouldn’t cooperate [with the prosecutors]. … His friend said he was not intimidated, did not view that as a death threat, so it was the type of hyperbole that Roger Stone is known for, but the victim said he wasn’t victimized. Basically, seeking that enhancement doubled the penalty, and without that enhancement, it would have been three or four years in the recommendation.
Ingraham: When you think about Barr making his views known about this, that’s kind of what the Democrats used to be for, isn’t it? … The Left hate the sentencing guidelines, and if a judge doesn’t have discretion to bring them down [arbitrarily] …
Dhillon: Absolutely. And beyond that, why the sentencing guidelines were made non-mandatory is because judges were allowed to sentence people based on things that weren’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt. And so that’s the big problem with them. … In California, we have free range criminals with our sanctuary cities situation. The guy who killed Kate Steinle got zero time in jail for that. And yet on the other end of the spectrum, these process crimes [like Roger Stone] are being abused.
End of the Dhillon Q&A. More light shed on the Mueller prosecutors’ use of harsh sentences for process crime convictions. More will come out about that in due course.