WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Democratic lawmakers are demanding an investigation after the Department of Justice overruled its own prosecutors’ recommendation for Roger Stone’s prison sentence.
The four career prosecutors abruptly withdrew from Stone’s case after the Department of Justice overruled their recommendation for a seven to nine year prison sentence. In a memo Tuesday, the Department of Justice said the sentence would not be appropriate or serve the interests of justice.
“This is absolutely contrary to every rule the Department of Justice has ever followed,” said former federal prosecutor Scott Fredericksen.
Stone’s longtime friend, President Trump, said he did not ask the Justice Department to intervene. Department of Justice officials say they made the unusual move because they were unhappy with the prosecutors’ recommendation in the case, not because of a tweet the president sent calling the original recommendation horrible and a miscarriage of justice.
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
Stone was convicted in November on counts including lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering, in a case stemming from the Mueller investigation.
Tweeting Wednesday morning, the president congratulated Attorney General William.
Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought. Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Some Democratic lawmakers have called for an investigation into the Department of Justice’s actions.
“What is more stinking than the most powerful person in the country literally changing the rules to benefit a crony guilty of breaking the law?” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The Department of Justice says it still thinks Stone deserves prison time when he is sentenced next week but it will defer to the judge, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, to determine for how long.
Jackson also presided over the case of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.