McCarthy says Trump did not interfere in Roger Stone case

McCarthy says Trump did not interfere in Roger Stone case
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Phase-four virus relief hits a wall House GOP leaders back effort to boost small-business loans MORE (R-Calif.) on Thursday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE did not interfere in the criminal case of his former associate Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJuan Williams: Mueller, one year on House Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak Trump 'strongly considering' full pardon for Flynn MORE.

McCarthy distanced Trump from the decision by the Justice Department to recommend a lesser sentence for Stone than the one initially called for by its prosecuting team, saying it was reached before Trump publicly weighed in on the matter.

“The answer to your question is no, the president is not interfering, because if you listen to the Department of Justice, they made the decision before the tweet ever went out," McCarthy said at a press conference on Thursday. 

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Congressional Democrats including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash MORE (D-Calif.) have called for an investigation into whether Trump attempted to influence the Justice Department's involvement in the case, with Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellKey House chairman cautions against remote voting, suggests other options amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Congress tiptoes toward remote voting MORE (D-Calif.) saying Congress should not rule out the possibility of impeaching Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrAppeals court sides with Trump on federal execution policy Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report Decentralized leadership raises questions about Trump coronavirus response MORE

Trump in a tweet called the initial recommendation "horrible," and he praised the lesser sentence recommendation. 

Pelosi argued Trump, who was acquitted of impeachment charges just last week, had abused his power. 

“This is an abuse of power. The president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interests,” she said.