DOJ, prosecutors at odds over Stone sentence
by Harvest Prude
Posted 2/12/20, 11:56 am
WASHINGTON—Four federal prosecutors quit the case against Roger Stone on Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Justice dialed down its sentencing recommendations for the longtime ally of President Donald Trump. A federal jury convicted Stone last year of lying to Congress and obstructing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Stone was accused of concealing his attempts to discover WikiLeaks’ plans to release stolen emails damaging to 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. On Monday night, the prosecutors recommended Stone serve seven to nine years behind bars, but the Justice Department said the sentence should be “far less” than that.
Why the change? Democratic lawmakers suggested the Justice Department submitted to Trump’s wishes after the president called the case against Stone a “miscarriage of justice” in a tweet sent a few hours before the announcement. But the Justice Department said it made the decision Monday night, before Trump’s tweet, and that prosecutors had not spoken to the White House about it. In addition to walking off the case, one assistant U.S. attorney resigned and another said he would transfer from his post as a special prosecutor in Washington.
Dig deeper: Read my report about Stone’s conviction in The Sift.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.