Justice Department to Reduce Sentencing Recommendation for Roger Stone

Justice Department to Reduce Sentencing Recommendation for Roger Stone

Justice Department to Reduce Sentencing Recommendation for Roger Stone

Stone faces a February 20 sentencing after a jury found him guilty on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. "Can not allow this miscarriage of justice!"

An unidentified senior DOJ official responded by telling reporters that the recommendation for Stone was "extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate", that it was not what was discussed, and that prosecutors would clarify their position. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said prosecutors had told the department to expect a shorter recommendation.

The official said there was no contact with the White House before the decision was made to lower the sentence recommendation.

"It is high, but the prosecutors obviously felt there were extenuating circumstances that justified the enhancements", said Lynn Niels, a former federal prosecutor.

The government said in its memorandum on Monday that Stone merited a tougher sentence because after he was indicted he posted an image of the judge overseeing the case with crosshairs next to her head. "The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them", Trump tweeted Tuesday. The recommendation was higher than what the USA attorney's office had told Justice Department officials it would suggest, according to the official.

In the memo to the judge on Monday, prosecutors walked through the details of Stone's crimes, describing them as part of an effort for him to help the Trump campaign as WikiLeaks released stolen emails that could hurt Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. He was found guilty on all seven charges brought against him in November.

They charged in the filing that Stone "decided to double - and triple - down on his criminal conduct by tampering with a witness for months in order to make sure his obstruction would be successful". In his first court appearance, Stone dismissed Mueller's probe as a "politically motivated investigation" and vowed to defeat the charges against him. He did not give evidence during the trial and his lawyers did not call any witnesses in his defence.

As the report emerged, news broke that lead attorney for the government, Aaron Zelinsky, had withdrawn from the case. In emails and texts, Stone told Credico among other things: "Prepare to die", "You're a rat".

Earlier testimony revealed that Stone, whereas showing earlier than the Home Intelligence Committee, named Credico as his middleman to Assange and pressured Credico to not contradict him.

After Credico was called by Congress, he connected to Stone, that informed him he need to "stonewall it" as well as "plead the fifth", he indicated.

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