Former Trump adviser Roger Stone is due sentencing this month for obstructing the Mueller inquiry.
Prosecutors demanded an extremely harsh sentence of seven to nine years in prison.
On Tuesday, the DOJ intervened, recommending “far less” jail time for Stone.
Democrat politicians have protested the intervention, but the administration is supportive.
(NewsReady.com) – President Trump congratulated Attorney General Bill Barr this week after Barr intervened in the controversial case of former campaign adviser Roger Stone.
A former lobbyist for the Trump organization, Stone was one of the first people to suggest that Donald Trump should run for president. Around 2014, he left the Libertarian Party and joined the Republican Party to work for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
That lasted until August 2015 when he claims he quit (Trump says he was fired). Despite open hostility between the two following his departure, however, he continued to support Trump.
In January 2019, Stone was arrested on seven criminal charges related to interfering in the Mueller investigation, making false statements and witness tampering. He was convicted on all counts in November, with sentencing set for February 6, then delayed to March 9.
On February 10, federal prosecutors asked that Stone receive a sentence of seven to nine years in prison. The next day, the president condemned the recommendation on Twitter, calling it “a horrible and very unfair situation.”
The Justice Department overruled the prosecutors and submitted a filing that “far less than 87 to 108 months’ imprisonment” would be more appropriate. Trump rapidly took to Twitter again, congratulating Attorney General Barr for “taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not even have been brought.”
Within hours of the announcement, four of the prosecutors who made the original recommendation withdrew from the case in protest at being overruled. One of them has left the DOJ.
Democrats are complaining about Barr’s intervention. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is already demanding an investigation into the revised sentencing request while Kamala Harris (D-CA) wants the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing and call Barr to testify.
Of course, the chairman is Trump ally Lindsey Graham (R-SC), so that probably isn’t going to happen.
Stone’s sentencing is now scheduled for February 20.
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