Just a day after prosecutors recommended Trump confidante Roger Stone get a seven-to-nine-year sentence for charges stemming from Robert Mueller’s Russian probe, the Justice Department reportedly has intervened reduce what it views as “extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate” recommendation, a department official said.
Stone, who prosecutors condemned for a “direct and brazen attack on the rule of law,” was convicted on seven counts, including obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress.
During his last fall, former Trump Deputy Campaign Manager and convicted felon Rick Gates, said Stone served as a liaison between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which published a steady stream of hacked DNC emails, stolen by Russia and used to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.
President Trump took to Twitter yesterday to denounce the sentencing guidelines as “a horrible and very unfair situation,” tweeting “Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” In later tweets, Trump seemed to imply he was mulling a pardon for his long-time business associate and adviser.
The sentencing memo reportedly caught the Justice Department by surprise, the department official told Fox News. “The department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the Stone case last night,” the official said. “The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.”
The Justice Department is expected to file a new sentencing memo today.
UPDATE: Two prosecutors on the Stone case resigned Tuesday, just before the Justice Department filed a new memo with the court recommending Stone serve a two- to four-year sentence. Jonathan Kravis, an assistant U.S. attorney, has resigned his position while Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, who served on Mueller’s team, withdrew from the Stone assignment but will continue as a U.S. attorney in Baltimore.