Thursday, 13 February 2020

Trump Says He Didn't Influence Roger Stone Sentencing Decision: 'I Stay Out of Things'

President Donald Trump says he did not interfere with the Justice Department in its decision to change its prison recommendation for his former adviser, Roger Stone, but he is glad the change was made.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted his praise of Attorney General William Barr for taking control of the case to prevent what he had one day prior called “a miscarriage of justice.”
Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought. Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!
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Trump’s comment Wednesday followed a Justice Department decision to overrule prosecutors and change a sentencing recommendation for Stone, who in November was found guilty of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation conducted by former special counsel Robert Mueller.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia initially recommended that Stone, 67, be put behind bars for seven to nine years, according to USA Today.
On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted his outrage.
“Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?” he tweeted.
Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?
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In a document filed Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department pulled back on its initial recommendation, saying seven to nine years in prison “would not be appropriate.”
The revised filing did not make a recommendation.
Further, the four prosecutors in the case resigned their roles on the prosecution team.
All this led to howls from Democrats that Trump had tampered with the case.
“This situation has all the indicia of improper political interference in a criminal prosecution,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
“The American people must have confidence that justice in this country is dispensed impartially,” Schumer wrote. “That confidence cannot be sustained if the president or his political appointees are permitted to interfere in prosecution and sentencing recommendations in order to protect their friends and associates.”
Also Tuesday, Trump was quizzed about the Stone case during a bill signing ceremony in the Oval Office, according to The Hill.
“I’d be able to do it if I wanted. I have the absolute right to do it. I stay out of things,” Trump said when asked if he had played any role in the DOJ changing its sentencing recommendation.
“I didn’t speak to them. I thought the recommendation was ridiculous. I thought the whole prosecution was ridiculous,” he said. “I thought it was an insult to our country and it shouldn’t happen.”
Trump was asked about the prosecutors who quit the case.
“These are, I guess, the same Mueller people that put everybody through hell and I think it’s a disgrace,” the president told reporters. “No, I have not been involved with it right now.”
He also replied to a question regarding whether he would commute Stone’s prison sentence.

“I don’t want to talk about that now,” he said. “I think it was a disgraceful recommendation. They ought to be ashamed of themselves. … I think it’s a disgrace. We’ll see what happens.”

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