In a dramatic reversal that could benefit a long-time adviser to President Donald Trump, the Justice Department will seek a shorter prison sentence for veteran Republican operative Roger Stone, a US official said on Tuesday, after Trump chastised prosecutors for treating Stone unfairly. According to Fox, citing the unnamed officials, the requested punishment was not what had been earlier represented to government officials. The Justice Department has not been in touch with the White House over the matter, the official said. Stone's sentencing is scheduled for February 20.
Trump tweeted about the sentencing recommendation early Tuesday morning, saying, "This is a frightful and very unfair situation".
Stone was charged in January 2019 by the grand jury in Washington, D.C., which special advocate Robert Mueller hired to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 elections and related matters. On Monday, the Mueller prosecutors who tried Stone's case shocked legal experts by recommending that Stone be imprisoned for seven to nine years for non-violent offenses.
The president took to Twitter to call out federal prosecutors over their proposed sentence for Stone, the self-proclaimed political "dirty trickster" who was found guilty on charges stemming from an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump tweeted early Tuesday, "This is a disgusting and very unfair situation". "The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department".
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Newsweek said the audio clip of the speech was posted online by Benjamin Dixon . "They are male, minorities, 16-25". You want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. "We put all the cops in minority neighborhoods.
"Abuse of Power", notably, was one of two impeachment charges that Schiff and other House impeachment managers argued during a Senate trial should be grounds for Trump's removal from office.
The prosecutors wrote within the court docket papers that "Stone's actions weren't a one-off mistake in judgement" and that he "determined to double - and triple - down on his felony conduct by tampering with a witness for months with the intention to make sure that his obstruction would achieve success".
The official also said that the decision to change the recommendation came before Trump's tweet. The order was issued after Stone posted a photo on Instagram appearing to show crosshairs next to a picture of Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
During the 2016 campaign, Stone had mentioned in interviews and public appearances that he was in contact with Assange through a trusted intermediary and hinted at inside knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans.
The prosecutors also discussed how Stone pressured his associate Randy Credico to lie to Congress so Credico wouldn't expose Stone's lie.