Trump Defends Roger Stone, Says Mueller “Lied to Congress”
Written by Luis Miguel
President Trump strongly reproved the handling of Roger Stone’s case on Wednesday, accusing Special Counsel Robert Mueller of lying to Congress and thanking Attorney General William Barr for intervening to reduce the recommended sentence for the Republican political operative.
“Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!” the president tweeted, describing the Mueller investigation as a “scam.”
It was not clear which aspect of Mueller’s testimony he was referring to.
The president on Tuesday had expressed his displeasure with news that federal prosecutors were recommending a sentence of seven to nine years for Stone, the former Trump campaign strategist who was convicted on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress in relation to Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Later Tuesday, the Department of Justice top brass overruled the prosecutors by telling Judge Amy Berman Jackson that it advised a more lenient sentence than the recommended seven to nine years.
The amended filing reads:
The prior filing submitted by the United States on February 10, 2020.… While it remains the position of the United States that a sentence of incarceration is warranted here, the government respectfully submits that the range of 87 to 108 months presented as the applicable advisory Guidelines range would not be appropriate or serve the interests of justice in this case.
While DOJ leadership “ultimately defers to the Court” to decide the sentence, the filing “respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration far less than 87 to 108 months’ imprisonment would be reasonable under the circumstances.”
The government asserted that while it would be “technically” possible to argue Stone deserves a strong sentence for threatening a witness, doing so would go against the spirit of federal guidelines.
A sentence of the length originally sought by prosecutors, the filing read, “typically applies in cases involving violent offenses, such as armed robbery, not obstruction cases.” It also noted that Stone’s “advanced age, health, personal circumstances, and lack of criminal history” strengthen the case against such a harsh penalty.
While prosecutors maintained that Stone threatened to harm the therapy dog of friend and liberal radio host Randy Credico, saying he was “going to take that dog away from you,” Credico himself stated that he “never in any way felt that Stone himself posed a direct physical threat to me or my dog.”
“If the Court were not to apply the eight-level enhancement for threatening a witness with physical injury, it would result in the defendant receiving an advisory Guidelines range of 37 to 46 months, which as explained below is more in line with the typical sentences imposed in obstruction cases,” the government explained.
A senior DOJ official told Fox News that initial filing that recommended a severe sentence was inconsistent with how they had told superiors they would handle the case. The “general communication” between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and DOJ senior officials had been to expect a more moderate sentence.
The push for a lighter sentence by top DOJ officials outraged the prosecutors on the Stone case, all of whom quit in protest. That included several holdovers from the Mueller team.
Jonathan Kravis, assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Washington, D.C., resigned as an assistant U.S. attorney in a filing with Jackson. Aaron Zelinsky filed a notice that he is resigning as a special prosecutor with the Washington U.S. attorney’s office but will remain an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore.
Prosecutors Adam Jed and Michael Marando later announced their withdrawals from the case. Prosecutor John Crabb, who was added to the team on Tuesday, will remain, giving the prosecution one representative at sentencing on February 20.
“It’s surprising that would be the line in the sand — an amended filing,” a senior DOJ official said, adding, “We’re backing off from, ‘It has to be this.’ The amended filing says it’s a serious crime, and prison time is appropriate; we’re just saying it doesn’t have to be 87 to 108 months.”
Following the resignations, President Trump took aim at the prosecutors, accusing them of having “cut and ran after being exposed.”
The president also voiced his dissatisfaction with Jackson.
President Trump’s support for Stone has led to speculation that he will ultimately pardon his ally, which would make the 67-year-old the 18th person to receive a presidential pardon during this administration.
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American