Trump 'Must Pardon Roger Stone'

Ross: Roger Stone case proves Congress is full of Constitutional wimps

US President Donald Trump has praised Attorney General William Barr, while attacking the federal prosecutors who resigned after the Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened in the recommended sentencing of Republican operative Roger Stone.

On Monday, prosecutors recommended to a federal judge that Stone, 67, be sentenced to a prison term of seven to nine years, based on the government's assessment of his conduct under federal sentencing guidelines.

Stone is a flamboyant political operative - a self-described "dirty trickster" - who was convicted past year of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"This is a very unique scenario", former federal prosecutor, Jacob Frenkel, who is now a criminal defense attorney at Dickinson-Wright, told Newsweek on Wednesday.

"As I said during my confirmation, I came in to serve as attorney general. Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the "Justice" Department", Trump tweeted. The reversal prompted all four line prosecutors on the case to withdraw from the case, and one of the four to leave DOJ entirely.

Trump targeted the judge and the outgoing prosecutors in other tweets, and retweeted a post that urged a full pardon for Stone as well as Michael Flynn, another former Trump adviser. "I am responsible for everything that happens in the department, but the thing I have most responsibility for are the issues that are brought to me for decision", Barr said in the interview.

Trump also said this week that he did not ask the Justice Department to ask for a lesser sentence for Stone.

What the prosecutors had recommended for Stone was just a recommendation, not an actual sentence.

Yet, "It was totally unnecessary", Noah said of Trump's tweets, noting of a picture of Stone, "As if there's one person who looks like he can break out of prison on his own, it's this guy". I don't think they quit for moral reasons.

"Now what am I going to do, sit back and let a man go to jail maybe for nine years when murderers aren't going to jail?"

The controversy has also triggered fresh scrutiny from Democrats over the role of Mr Barr, the Justice Department's top official, who has previously been accused of acting in a partisan way to protect Mr Trump.

"That doesn't mean that we're going to spend all of our time going after every lie that the administration's henchmen make to the Congress of the United States", Pelosi said at her weekly press conference.

Last year Mr Barr was widely criticised for claiming that special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation had exonerated Mr Trump, when in fact the final report outlined several instances in which the president may have obstructed justice.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer asked the Justice Department's internal watchdog to investigate, and senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, said Mr Barr should resign or face impeachment.

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