U.S. DOJ to seek lighter prison term for Trump adviser Stone

Roger Stone

Roger Stone

The U.S. Department of Justice will seek a shorter prison sentence for Roger Stone, a convicted associate of President Donald Trump, hours after Trump tweeted that prosecutors were treating him unfairly, media outlets reported on Tuesday. According to Fox, citing the unnamed officials, the requested punishment was not what had been earlier represented to government officials. A day after Trump reacted furiously to the prosecution's demand for a sentence of seven to nine years to his former aide, the Justice Department indicated that it will recommend less. Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2020.

He was arrested in January 2019 at his home in Florida after the charges were brought by then-special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russian Federation investigation. On Monday, the Mueller prosecutors who tried Stone's case shocked legal experts by recommending that Stone be imprisoned for seven to nine years for non-violent offenses. However it's exceedingly uncommon, notably in a high-profile case like Stone's, for the Justice Division to reverse its personal prosecutors on a sentencing advice.

The back and forth over the recommendation for Stone's sentence follows a post on Twitter by Trump on Tuesday that faulted the recommended sentence.

It is highly unusual for the DOJ to undo a sentencing recommendation once it's been produced by prosecutors at a U.S. Attorney's office which has prosecuted a suspect.

Notably, Zelinsky did everything he could during the Stone trial to get witnesses to talk about Stone's conversations with the president before the 2016 election.

Although Stone had posted tweets that made it appear that he had inside access to hacked materials related to Trump rival Hillary Clinton's campaign that were in WikiLeaks' possession, prosecutors and people close to Stone have acknowledged that he had no direct access to WikiLeaks or its materials. Prosecutors, however, charged him with lying to Congress, obstructing its investigation and witness tampering.

Stone has denied wrongdoing and consistently criticised the case against him as politically motivated.

Presiding Judge Amy Berman Jackson isn't bound by the recommendations from either side.

During the 2016 project, Stone had actually pointed out in meetings as well as public looks that he touched with Assange with a relied on intermediary as well as meant inside expertise of WikiLeaks' strategies. Credico also testified during Stone's trial that Stone repeatedly told him to "do a 'Frank Pentangeli, '" a reference to a character in "The Godfather: Part II" who lies before Congress.

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