Key Words: Trump credits Barr for Justice Department about-face on proposed length of Roger Stone’s prison term
President Donald Trump wasted little time on Wednesday celebrating news that the Justice Department would recommend a more lenient sentence for his longtime political ally Roger Stone.
The president had pushed for leniency for Stone, the self-proclaimed Republican dirty trickster and subject of the 2017 Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone,” in a tweet on Tuesday. He blamed the severity of the original sentencing proposal on U.S. prosecutors who had worked for special counsel Robert Mueller.
Late Tuesday, four prosecutors withdrew from the Stone case after their superiors at the Justice Department overruled their decision to request a prison sentence of seven to nine years for Stone, who was convicted of undermining a congressional investigation.
Trump called the proposed nine-year prison term unfair. “Rogue prosectors, maybe?” he asked in a tweet:
He went on to congratulate Attorney General William Barr for taking charge of the Stone case:
Trump told reporters Tuesday he hadn’t spoken with anyone at the department about the case. A spokesman for Justice also went on the record as saying there had been no contact with the White House before the decision.
Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat of Rhode Island, noted that Stone was facing up to 50 years for his criminal convictions. He urged the department’s inspector general to investigate, as had Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
“Clearly, something is rotten here or all four prosecutors wouldn’t have felt it necessary to quit,” Reed said. “It suggests serious political interference and malfeasance by the political higher-ups at the Department of Justice.”