WASHINGTON — Steven Alm, who’s running to take over as Honolulu’s top elected prosecutor, is one of 2,000 former U.S. Justice Department officials who called on Attorney General William Barr to resign after his apparent meddling in the criminal case against Roger Stone, one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies.

A federal judge sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison Thursday for lying to Congress and witness tampering in a case stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Steven Alm, who’s running for election in Hawaii, wants Barr to resign as attorney general. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Federal prosecutors originally asked the judge to sentence Stone to seven to nine years in prison. After Trump complained on Twitter that such a punishment was “horrible and very unfair,” Barr overrode the sentencing recommendation from his prosecutors, causing them to quit the case in protest.

Alm signed an open letter from former DOJ officials that called on Barr to resign and described his behavior in the Stone case as “a grave threat to the fair administration of justice.”

“In this nation, we are all equal before the law,” the letter states. “A person should not be given special treatment in a criminal prosecution because they are a close political ally of the President. Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies.”

Alm is a former U.S. attorney, who was appointed to the position in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton. He’s also a former state court judge.

Alm is now running for election to replace Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, who is currently on paid leave while under criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.

Kaneshiro has been named a target in one of the largest corruption probes in Hawaii’s history, one that began with Honolulu’s former police chief, Louis Kealoha, and his wife, Katherine, who was a deputy prosecutor, framing a family member for the theft of their mailbox with the help of an elite unit of officers.

The case expanded to include Kaneshiro, who has been a loyal ally of Katherine Kealoha, and Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, a top official in Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s cabinet who helped orchestrate a $250,000 payout to Louis Kealoha using taxpayer money.

When Alm announced his candidacy he said his campaign would focus on “restoring trust to the prosecutor’s office.”

At least two other former federal prosecutors from Hawaii, Thomas Helper and Lynn Panagakos, also put their names to the letter.

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