Roger Stone speaks out in interview, denies deal with Trump
The representative of the Ministry of Justice announced the withdrawal of the initial recommendation to determine the penalty for the accused
US President Donald Trump criticized federal prosecutors on Tuesday after they recommended that longtime friend Roger Stone be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison for 2016 election violations..
«This is a terrible and very dishonest situation., – Trump wrote in «Twitter». – Real crimes were committed from the other side, and nothing is done about them. Perversion of justice must not be allowed!»
Later on Tuesday, a senior Justice Department official withdrew the agency’s initial recommendation for a penalty for Stone. The statement said that the original recommendation is excessive and disproportionate in comparison to the wrongdoing committed by Stone. The document also indicates the intention of the Ministry of Justice to publish a revised recommendation on Tuesday. It is also noted that the adoption of this decision preceded Trump’s tweet.
American media reported that after this, four prosecutors involved in the process resigned..
The Restore Public Trust, which monitors government corruption, has called on Congress and the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General to investigate whether political interference played a role in the drastic change in the Justice Department’s Sentencing Directive in the Stone case..
«Political interference by President Trump with the Justice Department constitutes a betrayal of our democracy», – said the director of the organization Lizzie Price.
«The American people deserve to know that their Department of Justice is following the letter of a law for all, – including those close to the president. Congress and Inspector General Should Investigate Immediately», – said in a statement.
Pursuant to the Free Access to Information Act, the organization sent a request to the DOJ to provide all correspondence relating to Roger Stone within 48 hours between the release of the original DOJ recommendation to determine the penalty for Stone and its revision..
Stone has engaged in political machinations on behalf of the Republican candidates since the 1960s. In November, he was found guilty on all seven counts, including perjury to Congress about his attempts to extract information from hackers’ emails from Democrats to defame Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton, and intimidating a witness in the case..
Initially, 67-year-old Stone was recommended to be sentenced to 7-9 years in prison, which would correspond to the seriousness of his crimes..
Stone’s lawyers insist on a suspended sentence, citing his age and lack of criminal convictions. Sentence due this week.
According to prosecutors, the sentence recommended by the prosecution will demonstrate that the authorities are serious about crimes such as «manipulation of witnesses, obstruction of justice and perjury in the context of congressional investigations of matters of extreme national importance».
The prosecution states that Stone «obstructed a Congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, lied under oath, and pressured a witness», and «showed disrespect for court and law and order».
It is not yet clear whether Trump is going to pardon Stone, but in December he did not rule out such a possibility, naming prosecutors «dirty cops» and «bad people»