On the day Liu left, the Justice Department submitted a softer sentencing recommendation for Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The new filing said prosecutors believed probation would be an appropriate sentence for Flynn. They had previously asked that he spend up to six months behind bars.
A similar scenario played out in a more spectacular way in Stone’s this case week. After prosecutors on the case recommended a 7 to 9 year sentence for Stone on Monday, the U.S. attorney’s office abruptly changed course the next day, saying that amount of time would be “excessive” and that Stone should get a lesser sentence.
Stone’s entire prosecution team resigned from the case in protest.
The 180-degree turn came after Trump had tweeted overnight that the proposed sentence was “disgraceful!”
Liu’s office also handled the criminal investigation into former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was accused by the Justice Department’s inspector general of lying to investigators. McCabe has not been charged, despite calls by Trump for him to go to prison.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate what pressure Trump and Barr might have exerted behind the scenes. He said the rule of law "is just being totally perverted to Donald Trump’s own personal desires and needs and it’s a disgrace."