Trump swipes at resigned prosecutors, judge in Roger Stone case
President Trump on Tuesday swiped at the prosecutors and judge in the case of longtime confidant Roger Stone amid the fallout of the Justice Department’s decision to intervene in Stone’s sentencing recommendation.
Trump weighed in on the sentencing late Tuesday even as Democrats and critics expressed alarm that the president seemed to be blurring the line between the executive branch and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?” Trump tweeted.
All four prosecutors who worked on Stone’s case resigned Tuesday after the DOJ asked a federal court to reduce the seven- to nine-year prison sentence they had originally recommended. One prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, worked on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Stone, a 67-year-old right-wing provocateur, was found guilty in November of lying to Congress and witness tampering related to his efforts to provide the Trump campaign inside information about WikiLeaks in 2016.
The timing of the DOJ’s involvement raised questions given that it came hours after Trump ridiculed the initial recommendation as a “miscarriage of justice” and previous accusations from Democrats that Attorney General William Barr has interceded at times in the president’s favor.
The president later told reporters he had not spoken with DOJ officials about Stone’s case but insisted he had the right to do so. He declined to say whether he was considering commuting Stone’s eventual sentence.
“All starting to unravel with the ridiculous 9 year sentence recommendation!” Trump tweeted Tuesday night.
Trump late Tuesday also swiped at D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the Stone case, implying she had treated his former campaign chairman unfairly.
“Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!” Trump tweeted.
Manafort was sentenced a year ago to 7 1/2 years in prison after he was convicted on charges of bank and tax fraud and pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.
Jackson, an Obama appointee, oversaw the conspiracy case against Manafort, sentencing him to 43 months for that charge. During the trial, Manafort’s attorneys complained that he had been subject to solitary confinement. Jackson clarified at the time that his location was a result of his lawyers’ preferences, according to CNN.
Jackson is scheduled to sentence Stone on Feb. 20.
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