Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Does the Roger Stone fight hurt the Justice Department?

Does the Roger Stone fight hurt the Justice Department?

In the letter, Nadler and committee Democrats write that they have concerns that Barr has misused the criminal justice system for political purposes.

They also wrote that they plan to ask about the Justice Department's dealings with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as the removal of U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu who oversaw the prosecutions of Stone, Trump's deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Stone, who has labelled himself a "dirty trickster" and "agent provocateur" and famously has the face of former President Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, was one of several Trump associates charged with crimes in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference.

Stone is due to be sentenced on February 20 after being found guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering, stemming from a government investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

The controversy over Stone's sentencing deepened this morning when President Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Attorney General William Barr for "taking control of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought".

The removal of former US attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu, who oversaw the prosecutions of Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort.

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"This brazen assault on the independence and integrity of the Department of Justice is unprecedented", said Blumenthal, who who serves on the Judiciary Committee.

A Justice Department official said authorities made a decision to step in and seek a shorter sentence because they had been taken by surprise by the initial recommendation. And I want to thank, if you look at what happened, I want to thank the Justice Department for seeing this, this terrible thing.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he's unconcerned after four federal prosecutors quit in protest when the Justice Department reversed their request for Stone to spend seven to nine years in prison.

"This looks inescapably like political influence forcing the Department of Justice to change its position, and it's particularly troubling, because this is a case where the president has a strong interest in the defendant, Roger Stone, who was convicted of obstructing Congress's investigation into the president's campaign and its connection with Russia", Yeomans said.

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20. However, their recommendation was overruled by the Justice Dept., who asked for a lighter sentence. "Senate Republicans told us he was going to get better, and he didn't", Democratic senator Sherrod Brown told reporters. But, he added, he didn't think the president should be publicly weighing on pending sentences either.

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