Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Roger Stone prison recommendation unusually 'excessive'

Roger Stone prison recommendation unusually 'excessive'

Federal prosecutors filed a sentencing memo Monday arguing Stone should be jailed for seven to nine years, prompting Trump to dismiss the proposal as "horrible" and a "miscarriage of justice".

The removal of former US attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu, who oversaw the prosecutions of Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. And by early Wednesday, he had tweeted a congratulations to Attorney General William Barr "for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have been brought", suggesting the prosecutors had gone rogue. And Trump's former chief of staff, General John Kelly, criticized Trump during a speech at Drew University, slamming the president over his policies on an array of issues, including North Korea, immigration, military discipline and Ukraine.

Stone is a flamboyant political operative - a self-described "dirty trickster" - who was convicted past year of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He also assisted in the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Capitol Hill Democrats demanded an investigation into why the department overruled prosecutors' initial request as "excessive and unwarranted".

"The president is claiming that rigging the rules is perfectly legitimate", Schumer said Wednesday from the Senate floor. "But the Justice Department showing preferential treatment for Trump's criminal accomplices is a threat to the country".

"I can not do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me", Barr said. Some of the people Stone's defence expressed concerns about, including a former White House official from former President Barack Obama's administration, did not make the final cut on the jury, made up of 12 people and two alternates.

Still, prosecutors often ask judges to throw the book at defendants who roll the dice on a trial rather than plead guilty. But OK, even if you determine the President did something wrong, what are you going to do?

The targeting of Jackson, who has presided over a set of cases involving Trump associates in the past year, is the latest in a drumbeat of disparagement from the president when he disagrees with rulings.

One of the four prosecutors who quit the case had worked on Mr. Mueller's team. Stone to serve between 87 and 108 months in federal prison, which they said was consistent with federal guidelines.

In a letter to the attorney general from 23 Democratic committee members, the lawmakers said that they are confirming his agreement to testify March 31. The appearance will end a yearlong standoff with the committee after Mr. Barr refused to appear regarding the Mueller investigation.

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