- President Donald Trump has launched a series of attacks against prosecutors who secured the conviction of his former adviser, Roger Stone, and the judge who is to sentence him on February 20.
- “9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!” tweeted Trump early Wednesday.
- He also congratulated Attorney General William Barr for taking over the Stone case, after the entire team of prosecutors on the Stone case resigned in protest at apparent meddling from higher-ups.
- On Tuesday night, Trump had criticised Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is to sentence Stone and also sentenced Paul Manafort, a Trump campaign official jailed for campaign finance and tax crimes in 2019.
- Democrats have accused Trump of seeking to politicize the Justice Department to pursue political enemies, and deter the prosecution of allies.
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President Donald Trump has unleashed an extraordinary series of attacks on prosecutors who secured the conviction of former adviser Roger Stone, and the judge who is to sentence him.
Trump responded to a tweet from a supporter on Tuesday who called on the president to pardon Stone, a veteran former Republican operative, as well as former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to investigators about his contact with the Russian ambassador while working for Trump.
“Prosecutorial misconduct?” tweeted the president in response.
And early Wednesday morning the president continued the attack, with the prosecutors having recommended a maximum nine year sentence for Stone at a recent hearing.
“Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!” tweeted Trump.
Though he did not explicitly say so, Trump may have been referring to James Wolfe, a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer jailed for two months in 2018 for lying to FBI agents during an investigation into federal leaks.
On Tuesday the entire team of lawyers who had prosecuted Stone resigned, after the Justice Department overruled their sentencing recommendation, raising concerns of political interference.
NBC News reported early Wednesday that Attorney General William Barr was taking personal charge of cases relating to Trump, including Stone’s. And in a tweet the president congratulated him.
In his Tuesday night tirade, Trump had singled out Justice Amy Berman Jackson, who is to sentence Stone on February 20.
“Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!” he tweeted.
Paul Manafort is Trump’s former campaign manager, who was jailed for seven years for campaign finance violations in 2019.
Judge Jackson also presided in that case, and according a March 2019 CNN report she said that Manafort was initially held in a private room in a Virginia jail, and at the request of his lawyers was moved to a jail in Alexandria, Virginia.
There he was held not in solitary but in protective confinement, with access to a radio, newspapers and TV and released for a few hours a day “to walk around and be with other people.”
Insiders have expressed concerns that Trump’s recent approach to the Justice Department.
Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the DOJ told Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth that “A robbery in broad daylight in the middle of Chicago is more subtle than Barr’s obsession to shield Trump and his co-conspirators.”
“Can’t recall a worse day for DOJ and line prosecutors,” he said.
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