- Senator Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that the United States would see a "descent into authoritarianism" under President Donald Trump after his Attorney General intervened in Roger Stone's case.
- "Right before our eyes we see a decline in authoritarianism" Said Warren.
- All four prosecutors who oversaw the federal case against Stone, a longtime Trump informal adviser, withdrew from the case earlier this week after Barr intervened.
- Barr publicly rejected Stone's sentence after Trump complained that it was too strict.
- You can find more stories on the Insider homepage,
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts warned on Wednesday that the country was under "a descent into authoritarianism" under President Donald Trump.
Warren also called for Attorney General William Barr to resign or be removed after intervening in the case of a longstanding informal adviser to President Roger Stone.
The Massachusetts democrat, who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that she knew that "everyone wants to talk about horse racing," but added that "what I'm really concerned with right now is what's happening to the Department of Justice. "
"The whole notion that people in our Department of Justice are resigning because of Donald Trump's undue influence and the Attorney General is overturning a conviction of Donald Trump's cronies is right in front of us and we're seeing a decline in authoritarianism." Said Warren.
"It seems to me that this is just a moment when everyone should speak up," added Warren. "Presidential candidates should come forward, people in this country should come forward."
The 2020 Democrats expressed similar views in an MSNBC interview:
– All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) February 13, 2020
Warren's views are shared by authoritarianism and democracy experts who raised alarm this week over Trump's actions after he was acquitted in his impeachment proceedings against the Senate. The president oversaw a purge of impeachment officers from the White House and its administration, while his attorney general intervened in a very public case involving a close ally of the president.
Jason Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale, who wrote "How Fascism Works" Insider said on Wednesday, "The Republican Party betrays democracy, and these are historic times. Someone has to push back."
"There must be mass protests," said Stanley when he called Barr "a dangerous, authoritarian pioneer."
Stone was convicted in seven cases in November, including for obstructing the judiciary, forging witnesses, and making false statements. The indictment related to his communication with WikiLeaks in 2016 and his efforts to prevent a witness of the investigation in Russia from testifying before Congress or working with the FBI. Stone was an informal adviser to Trump during the 2016 campaign season and in close communication with the president during that time.
All four prosecutors who oversaw the federal government case against the experienced GOP strategist withdrew from the case earlier this week after senior Justice Department officials, under Barr's orders, publicly refused their recommendation to convict Stone.
Trump, who described Stone's original sentencing recommendation as "terrible and very unfair," applauded Barr's intervention in the case.
"Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for leading a case that has gone completely out of control and maybe shouldn't even have been brought." the president said in a tweet.
As Democrats press for responses to Barr's intervention in Stone's case, the Attorney General announced on Wednesday accepted an invitation testify before the House Justice Committee on March 31