Former Trump aide Roger Stone is facing some serious prison time for lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering — or at least he was facing serious time before President Donald Trump tweeted his support for his former aide on Tuesday morning.
In a tweet responding to a story about Stone, Trump wrote, “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!”
Stone was convicted by a jury in Washington, D.C., in a federal courthouse only a few blocks from the White House, in November on a total of seven counts. Stone’s trial also featured the appearance of Trump’s former White House aide, Steve Bannon, who testified during the trial that the Trump campaign viewed Stone as a back-channel to Wikileaks.
Prosecutors initially asked for Judge Amy Berman-Jackson to give Stone seven to nine years for his crimes — he’s set to be sentenced on February 20. However, after Trump voiced his outrage on Twitter, a DOJ source told NBC News that the department is re-evaluating the sentencing recommendation.
The department official told NBC News, “The department finds the recommendation extreme and excessive and will clarify its position later today.”
In the sentencing memo, prosecutors wrote, “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.”
Stone is one of a handful of Trump aides, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who have been found guilty of charges stemming from Robert Mueller‘s probe. His trial featured a number of twists, including a gag order that Judge Berman-Jackson placed on him and that he flaunted with a threatening Instagram post that featured the judge’s face beside an image of crosshairs.
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