DOJ to Reduce ‘Excessive’ Stone Sentencing Recommendation after Trump Labels it ‘Unfair’

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for his criminal trial at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 6, 2019. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

The Justice Department will revise its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone after President Trump slammed the initial recommendation as a “miscarriage of justice,” according to a report from Fox News.

Prosecutors said in a court filing released Tuesday that Stone should face seven to nine years in federal prison for obstructing justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress over alleged Russian contacts. The lengthy sentencing recommendation drew public criticism from President Trump, who called it as politically-motivated and unreasonably harsh.

“Investigations into election interference concern our national security, the integrity of our democratic processes, and the enforcement of our nation’s criminal laws. These are issues of paramount concern to every citizen of the United States. Obstructing such critical investigations thus strikes at the very heart of our American democracy,” the prosecutors stated.

But a DOJ official told Fox News Tuesday that the “extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate” recommendation had left senior officials “shocked,” and would be revised later in the day.

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“The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the stone case last night,” the source said. “The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.”

Stone’s charges stem from testimony he gave to the House Intelligence Committee in 2018, during which he denied speaking to anyone on the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks, which Steve Bannon and other former Trump campaign officials have said is not true.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that Stone coordinated with Russia or WikiLeaks to release Democrats’ emails.

Fox News also reported that there had been no communication between the DOJ and the White House over the sentencing.

Stone’s sentencing is currently scheduled for February 20.

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