DOJ backpedaling on sentencing recommendation for Trump ally Roger Stone


Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for the second day of jury selection for his federal trial, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, goes on trial over charges related to his alleged efforts to exploit the Russian-hacked Hillary Clinton emails for political gain. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning, calling the initial sentencing recommendation “disgraceful!” and a “miscarriage of justice!”

Image: Roger Stone arrives at District Court in Washington on Feb. 21, 2019.

Roger Stone arrives at District Court in Washington on Feb. 21, 2019.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images fileFeb. 11, 2020, 12:06 PM CSTBy Dartunorro Clark and Michael Kosnar

The Justice Department is backpedaling on its sentencing recommendation for longtime Trump associate Roger Stone, who was found guilty in November of making false statements, obstruction and witness tampering, a senior department official confirmed to NBC News.

The move comes just hours after President Donald Trump called the DOJ’s initial sentencing recommendation on Monday “disgraceful!” and a “miscarriage of justice!”

“This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”

Trump confidant Roger Stone convicted on all counts

Federal prosecutors sought seven to nine years in prison for Stone in a sentencing memorandum they filed Monday in Washington, D.C. Prosecutors said the recommendation is in line with the guideline sentence outlined by federal law.

“Roger Stone obstructed Congress’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lied under oath, and tampered with a witness,” prosecutors wrote in a 26-page memo. “When his crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this court and the rule of law.”

Stone, a self-described “dirty trickster,” has been well-known in conservative circles dating to President Richard Nixon’s campaign. Stone, a Trump associate for over three decades, also served early on as an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign and has called the case against him politically motivated.

Stone was arrested and charged just over a year ago. He was the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of Mueller’s probe. The colorful trial in Washington lasted nearly two weeks and featured references to “The Godfather Part II,” threats of dognapping, complaints of food poisoning and a gag order. The jury deliberated for two days before handing down the verdict.

This is not the first time a Trump associate in a Mueller-derived case had their sentence reduced. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison last March by a federal judge in Virginia on financial fraud charges, considerably less than the federal guidelines of 19-and-a-half to 24 years. The judge in that case, Judge T.S. Ellis, called that the guidelines “excessive.”

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