UPDATE: Two more prosecutors on the Roger Stone case have withdrawn:
JUST IN: A second STONE prosecutor withdraws from the case. This time, it's Jonathan Kravis. pic.twitter.com/gTdA0VwLEw— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 11, 2020
A THIRD Stone prosecutor has now dropped out of the case: Adam Jed. pic.twitter.com/vLzMxJi5Z7— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 11, 2020
Original Post: Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone’s prosecution has moved to the center of today’s news cycle, as the possibility of the Department of Justice overturning Stone’s sentence is rumored. Prosecutors originally recommended Stone serve 7-9 years in federal prison, per AP.
The Department of Justice allegedly finds the recommended sentence to be extreme:
The DOJ is changing its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, according to a Senior DOJ official.— Jake Gibson (@JakeBGibson) February 11, 2020
“The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate," the source said, adding the DOJ will clarify its position on sentencing later today
#RogerStone Senior DOJ official tells @CBSNews Department was shocked to see sentencing recommendation Stone case. This is not what was briefed to Dept. The Dept. believes recommendation is extreme, excessive, grossly disproportionate to offenses...#DEVELOPING— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) February 11, 2020
Top prosecutor in the Roger Stone case, who also served on the Mueller prosecution, Aaron Zelinsky, announced his departure from the case this afternoon:
Aaron Zelinsky, who had been a prosecutor in the special counsel's office, has moved to withdraw from Roger Stone's case. pic.twitter.com/3mHkuvgHhz— Brad Heath (@bradheath) February 11, 2020
Stone, along with other Trump allies, was found guilty on counts of witness tampering, obstruction and lying to Congress, in November. Stone was found to be linked to election interference, but was never charged with elevating Russian influence in the 2016 general election.
Roger Stone's case has been controversial from the start; given the nature of the crimes committed, the long sentence requested by the prosecution has received criticism. President Trump weighed in on the case of his former advisor:
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