The entire team prosecuting longtime President Donald Trump associate and GOP operative Roger Stone abruptly resigned from the criminal case on Tuesday after the Justice Department said it planned to reduce the recommended sentence for Stone, reports NBC News.
Aaron Zelinsky, an ex-member of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, stepped down from his special assignment to the Stone case hours after reports surfaced that the DOJ would recommend a lesser sentence. Prosecutors Adam Jed and Michael Marando also withdrew from the matter. One lawyer, Jonathan Kravis, announced his resignation as an assistant U.S. attorney, leaving his government post entirely.
This is the criminal-law equivalent of the DOJ's insane reversal of position in the Affordable Care Act case. In both cases, career lawyers DOJ properly refused to play no part once it became clear that law is no longer the basis of DOJ's actions. https://t.co/nUcc70tNmu
— Sasha Samberg-Champion (@ssamcham) February 11, 2020
Late Monday night, the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the judge in a filing that Stone should get a prison term of seven to nine years when he is sentenced Feb. 20 for crimes related to lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election and his efforts to get an associate, comedian Randy Credico, to cover for his lies.
But DOJ officials objected to the recommended prison term for Stone shortly after it became public and now plan to recommend a lower sentence later Tuesday in court.
Trump early Tuesday morning blasted the original recommended sentence for Stone, calling it “disgraceful” and also tweeting that “this is a horrible and very unfair situation.”
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020