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fraurosena
46 minutes ago, Dandruff said:

Don't want to rain on the parade here...but can he be pardoned?

 

44 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

That is what I was thinking. Trump will pardon like crazy if he can. 

Yes, Trump can pardon him. But the optics are really, really bad. I wouldn't put it past Trump topardon him anyway, because he's dumb like that. And scared of what Roger will say if he doesn't.

But if he does, it will most curtail his chances of re-election even more than they are already.

However, unless Trump pardons Roger before the new year, all of this could be moot if Trump is impeached and removed from office. Which is looking increasingly more likely.

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I hope they take this fuck to the cleaners.  And fuck knob’s DOJ isn’t there to protect him now. 

"Roger Stone found guilty in federal case"  

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WiseGirl
2 hours ago, fraurosena said:

Trump is impeached and removed from office. Which is looking increasingly more likely.

From your words to the universe's ears. Please Rufus let this happen.

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Dandruff

I doubt the humpers will remove him, but I think there's a chance he'll remove himself.  In a huff, of course, and as the bigliest victim the world has ever known.

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fraurosena
1 hour ago, WiseGirl said:

From your words to the universe's ears. Please Rufus let this happen.

Rufus is good. With Holmes’ opening statement (which I’ve posted in the impeachment thread) it’s increasingly obvious there is too much damning and irrefutable evidence to simply wave away. Trump’s time is almost up.

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onekidanddone
5 minutes ago, fraurosena said:

Rufus is good. With Holmes’ opening statement (which I’ve posted in the impeachment thread) it’s increasingly obvious there is too much damning and irrefutable evidence to simply wave away. Trump’s time is almost up.

OneKid's AP Gov class is going to the Capitol next week on a class trip.  On back to school night her Gov teacher said they might be able to visit the House floor. Sweet Rufus on a cracker, wouldn't that be cool. 

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GreyhoundFan

"I was a juror in Roger Stone’s trial. I am proud of how we came to our decision."

Spoiler

Seth Cousins was juror Number 3 in the Roger Stone trial.

During the first half of November, I made a brief journey with 14 fellow Americans, all of them strangers to me. Together we were the 12 jurors (and two alternates) sitting in judgment of longtime political consultant Roger Stone. We sat through five days of testimony and half a day of closing arguments. After eight hours of deliberation, we returned guilty verdicts on each of the seven counts we were charged to consider.

Since we delivered that verdict, I have been taken aback by the accounts of pundits and politicians that our decision was somehow the product of a deeply polarized, partisan divide. Let me be clear: We did not convict Stone based on his political beliefs or his expression of those beliefs. We did not convict him of being intemperate or acting boorishly. We convicted him of obstructing a congressional investigation, of lying in five specific ways during his sworn congressional testimony and of tampering with a witness in that investigation.

Our jury was diverse in age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, education and occupation. I’m a 51-year-old white man from New England. My favorite person on the jury was an African American woman from Tennessee. Given that the trial took place in the District, the likelihood of having government employees in the jury pool was high and, indeed, we had such individuals. Like jurors everywhere, none of us asked for this responsibility but each of us accepted it willingly. We served the proposition that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Interest in this case was high, and the court took special steps to prevent us from being harassed or improperly influenced. Each morning, we assembled at a building several blocks away and made our way to the parking garage, where federal marshals would load us into vans with tinted windows for the trip to court. On arrival, we moved through the building via a freight elevator and back corridors.

The evidence in this case was substantial and almost entirely uncontested. Stone’s testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in September 2017 was a matter of record; both the prosecution and defense agreed on the facts. The real dispute was whether Stone had lied under oath and whether that mattered. The defense offered by Stone’s attorney can be summed up in to two words: So what?

Our unanimous conclusion was this: The truth matters. Telling the truth under oath matters. At a time when so much of our public discourse is based on deception or just lies, it is more important than ever that we still have places where the truth can be presented, examined and discerned. Congress is one of those places. That’s what the case was about.

I believe I speak for my fellow jurors when I say we are proud of our decision. We listened carefully to the testimony of a series of witnesses and carefully examined every element of every charge and its defense, and we unanimously agreed that each had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. We came close to rejecting one charge that we believed was written ambiguously; our question was whether Stone had actually made a particular statement. In the end, we were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Stone had in fact made that statement. Almost half of our day-long deliberation was devoted to this single question.

After the trial was over, Judge Amy Berman Jackson came to the jury room to thank us for our service. This was the only time any of us had any contact with her outside of the courtroom. We talked as a group for several minutes. One of my fellow jurors expressed the following sentiment, which sums up my feelings and, I believe, those of my fellow jurors: I love America, and this experience has made me love it even more. At the end of our jury service, the marshals drove us back to our meeting point one more time, and the jury went out for lunch as a group.

I am proud of our democratic institutions; their value was reaffirmed for me because of the process that we went through and the respect we accorded it. I am proud that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. I am proud that we took Roger Stone’s rights seriously and that we treated the government’s assertions skeptically. I am proud of my fellow jurors for respecting each other and for challenging each other until we were all convinced beyond a reasonable doubt.

At a time when Americans are increasingly distrustful of their institutions, I am thankful that our legal system affords a fair and open process by which one’s peers critically examine the facts. To denigrate that process is undemocratic and dangerous. While I know not everyone will respect the outcomes that I played a part in, I also know that does not matter. What matters is the truth and the process for discovering it. What matters is the power held by a randomly selected group of citizens fulfilling a duty that goes back centuries.

 

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GreyhoundFan

So, the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years has been released and Stone's buddy is unhappy: "‘Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!’: Trump blasts sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone"

Spoiler

President Trump denounced federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for longtime confidant Roger Stone in a string of tweets early Tuesday, saying seven to nine years in prison was a “miscarriage of justice! ”

“This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” Trump tweeted around 2 a.m. He added, “Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! ”

image.png.1ba41d8fc4e4689604c025840cced171.png

He did not say whether that meant he would pardon Stone, something Trump had previously indicated he would not rule out.

Stone was found guilty in November of lying to Congress about his efforts to learn of hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 election and of threatening a witness in the case. He was convicted and indicted as part of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

Returning from a campaign rally in New Hampshire and a trip to Delaware to honor two U.S. soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan, the president rattled off his tweets and retweets in support of Stone and criticizing Monday’s sentencing recommendation.

“Disgraceful!” he tweeted.

image.png.ad572a8fe11db389eb12144360da4d13.png

Trump’s backing of the Republican operative continued into the early-morning hours, interspersed with more articles and videos related to his acquittal in the Senate on impeachment charges last week.

“The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them,” Trump wrote.

As The Washington Post reported late Monday, prosecutors in the case wrote in their 22-page filing that Stone’s proposed recommended sentencing, ranging between 87 to 108 months, is “consistent with the applicable advisory Guidelines would accurately reflect the seriousness of his crimes and promote respect for the law.”

Stone’s attorneys are pushing for probation, and have pointed to his age, 67, and lack of criminal history as reason the longer sentence is excessive.

But in their filing, prosecutors wrote that a seven- to nine-year prison sentence for Stone “will send the message that tampering with a witness, obstructing justice, and lying in the context of a congressional investigation on matters of critical national importance are not crimes to be taken lightly.”

“Roger Stone obstructed Congress’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lied under oath, and tampered with a witness,” the prosecutors added. “And when his crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this Court and the rule of law.”

The early-morning tweets add more intrigue into whether Trump would eventually give a presidential pardon to Stone. As The Post noted Monday, prosecutors detailed how Stone appealed for a pardon through Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist and founder of Infowars, during his trial.

In December, Trump indicated he would not rule out pardoning his confidant, describing the federal prosecutors involved in the case as “dirty cops” and “evil people.”

“I think it’s very tough what they did to Roger Stone, compared to what they do to other people on their side,” Trump said at the time.

 

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GreyhoundFan

WTAF? "Justice Dept. to reduce sentencing recommendation for Trump associate Roger Stone, official says, after president calls it ‘unfair’"

Spoiler

The Justice Department plans to reduce its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Trump, after top officials professed to be blindsided by the seven-to-nine year penalty prosecutors urged a judge to impose, a senior Justice Department official said Tuesday.

In a stunning rebuke of career prosecutors that will surely raise questions about political interference in the case, a senior Justice Department official said the department “was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the Roger Stone case last night.”

“That recommendation is not what had been briefed to the department,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive case. “The department finds the recommendation extreme and excessive and disproportionate to Stone’s offenses. The department will clarify its position later today.”

The statement came hours after Trump tweeted about the sentence prosecutors recommended, saying: “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!” The senior Justice Department official, though, said the decision to revise prosecutors’ recommendation came before Trump’s tweet.

Stone was convicted by a jury in November of obstructing Congress and witness tampering. His was the last conviction secured by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as part of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Stone has been a friend and adviser to Trump since the 1980s and was a key figure in his 2016 campaign, working to discover damaging information on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Attorney General William P. Barr has faced criticism for seeking to protect Trump and undercut the special counsel’s work, and those on the political left in particular are likely to view his department’s abrupt shift on Stone as the latest example of the president and his attorney general bending federal law enforcement to serve their political interests.

In perhaps the most notable example, Barr sent Congress a letter before public release of the special counsel’s report, describing what he called the investigation’s principal conclusions. Mueller, Barr wrote, did not find that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election, and reached no conclusion on whether Trump had sought to obstruct justice. Barr wrote that he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed the matter and concluded there was insufficient evidence to make an obstruction case.

The bare-bones description so infuriated the special counsel’s team that Mueller wrote to Barr complaining that the attorney general’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Russia probe. Barr, though, repeated his description at a news conference before Mueller’s full report was released, drawing criticism that he was trying to shape public opinion in a way favorable to Trump.

The senior Justice Department official said Barr had not spoken with Trump about the sentencing recommendation for Stone, nor had the attorney general been informed in advance of Trump’s tweet.

Mueller closed his office in May, though some members of his team stayed on as federal prosecutors in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office to handle cases — including Stone’s — that were not resolved. People familiar with the matter say there was tension between them and their supervisors on what penalty to recommend.

As Monday’s court deadline neared for prosecutors to give a sentencing recommendation, it was still unclear what the office would do, after days of tense internal debates on the subject, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Front-line prosecutors, some previously from Mueller’s team, argued for a prison sentence on the higher end, while their bosses wanted to calculate the guidelines differently to get to a lower sentence. The debate centered around whether they should seek more prison time for obstruction that impedes the administration of justice, these people said.

In the end, the office filed a recommendation keeping with the line prosecutors’ goals, and rejecting the lighter recommendation sought by their superiors, the people said.

Hours before the filing was due Monday, the new head of the D.C. office, interim U.S. attorney Timothy Shea — a former close adviser to Barr — had not made a final decision on Stone’s sentencing recommendation, they said.

It was not clear what was told to Barr or other Justice Department leaders about the final recommendation. The senior official said they were led to believe the recommendation would be lighter than what was ultimately filed.

Shea took over as the interim U.S. attorney in D.C. only last week. He succeeded Jessie K. Liu, who stepped down pending a White House nomination to serve as Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes.

While Liu’s nomination was announced Jan. 6, it was somewhat unusual that she departed before a Senate confirmation hearing was scheduled. Moreover, the selection of Shea to replace her was outside the norm, as it bypassed the office’s veteran principal assistant U.S. attorney, Alessio Evangelista. In the past, the principal assistant has often been elevated to serve as interim U.S. attorney.

It can be common for prosecutors to disagree about sentencing recommendations, especially when it comes to politically sensitive cases. It would have been unusual, however, for the U.S. attorney’s office to endorse a sentence below the guideline range after winning conviction at trial, according to former federal prosecutors.

In a 22-page filing, prosecutors Jonathan Kravis, Michael J. Marando, Adam C. Jed and Aaron S.J. Zelinksky wrote that a sentence of 87 to 108 months, “consistent with the applicable advisory Guidelines would accurately reflect the seriousness of [Stone’s] crimes and promote respect for the law.” Leaving a hearing in federal court in Washington, Jed and Kravis — who seemed to learn of the Justice Department’s shift in position from a reporter — declined to comment.

Kravis and Marando are part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. Jed and Zelinsky were members of Mueller’s team now on special assignment to the office.

Stone’s defense on Monday asked for a sentence of probation, citing his age, 67, and lack of criminal history. They also noted that of seven Mueller defendants who have been sentenced, only one faces more than a six-month term: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is serving 7½ years.

Given the hardships and loss of professional standing suffered by Stone and his family, “No one could seriously contend that a [reduced . . .] sentence would cause anyone to walk away from these proceedings believing that one can commit the offenses at issue here with impunity,” defense attorneys Bruce S. Rogow, Robert C. Buschel and Grant J. Smith wrote.

Federal guidelines typically call for a sentence ranging from 15 to 21 months for first-time offenders convicted of obstruction offenses, such as lying to Congress, making false statements and witness tampering, as Stone was.

The range ratchets up steeply, potentially to more than seven years in prison, if the offense involves other factors such as threatening physical injury or property damage to a witness; substantially interfering with the administration of justice; or the willful obstruction of justice. Each was cited by prosecutors.

A seven- to nine-year term “will send the message that tampering with a witness, obstructing justice, and lying in the context of a congressional investigation on matters of critical national importance are not crimes to be taken lightly,” prosecutors wrote.

Barr has been critical of the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Trump’s campaign that Mueller ultimately took over. When the Justice Department inspector general found last year that the bureau had adequate cause to open the case, Barr issued a remarkable public statement registering his disagreement. He said the case was initiated “on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”

“It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory,” he added.

Barr has tasked the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut with exploring the origins of the case, and current and former law enforcement officials have expressed concern that it might be an effort to undercut an investigation because Trump did not like it.

 

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fraurosena
2 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

WTAF? "Justice Dept. to reduce sentencing recommendation for Trump associate Roger Stone, official says, after president calls it ‘unfair’"

  Hide contents

The Justice Department plans to reduce its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Trump, after top officials professed to be blindsided by the seven-to-nine year penalty prosecutors urged a judge to impose, a senior Justice Department official said Tuesday.

In a stunning rebuke of career prosecutors that will surely raise questions about political interference in the case, a senior Justice Department official said the department “was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the Roger Stone case last night.”

“That recommendation is not what had been briefed to the department,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive case. “The department finds the recommendation extreme and excessive and disproportionate to Stone’s offenses. The department will clarify its position later today.”

The statement came hours after Trump tweeted about the sentence prosecutors recommended, saying: “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!” The senior Justice Department official, though, said the decision to revise prosecutors’ recommendation came before Trump’s tweet.

Stone was convicted by a jury in November of obstructing Congress and witness tampering. His was the last conviction secured by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as part of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Stone has been a friend and adviser to Trump since the 1980s and was a key figure in his 2016 campaign, working to discover damaging information on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Attorney General William P. Barr has faced criticism for seeking to protect Trump and undercut the special counsel’s work, and those on the political left in particular are likely to view his department’s abrupt shift on Stone as the latest example of the president and his attorney general bending federal law enforcement to serve their political interests.

In perhaps the most notable example, Barr sent Congress a letter before public release of the special counsel’s report, describing what he called the investigation’s principal conclusions. Mueller, Barr wrote, did not find that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election, and reached no conclusion on whether Trump had sought to obstruct justice. Barr wrote that he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed the matter and concluded there was insufficient evidence to make an obstruction case.

The bare-bones description so infuriated the special counsel’s team that Mueller wrote to Barr complaining that the attorney general’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Russia probe. Barr, though, repeated his description at a news conference before Mueller’s full report was released, drawing criticism that he was trying to shape public opinion in a way favorable to Trump.

The senior Justice Department official said Barr had not spoken with Trump about the sentencing recommendation for Stone, nor had the attorney general been informed in advance of Trump’s tweet.

Mueller closed his office in May, though some members of his team stayed on as federal prosecutors in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office to handle cases — including Stone’s — that were not resolved. People familiar with the matter say there was tension between them and their supervisors on what penalty to recommend.

As Monday’s court deadline neared for prosecutors to give a sentencing recommendation, it was still unclear what the office would do, after days of tense internal debates on the subject, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Front-line prosecutors, some previously from Mueller’s team, argued for a prison sentence on the higher end, while their bosses wanted to calculate the guidelines differently to get to a lower sentence. The debate centered around whether they should seek more prison time for obstruction that impedes the administration of justice, these people said.

In the end, the office filed a recommendation keeping with the line prosecutors’ goals, and rejecting the lighter recommendation sought by their superiors, the people said.

Hours before the filing was due Monday, the new head of the D.C. office, interim U.S. attorney Timothy Shea — a former close adviser to Barr — had not made a final decision on Stone’s sentencing recommendation, they said.

It was not clear what was told to Barr or other Justice Department leaders about the final recommendation. The senior official said they were led to believe the recommendation would be lighter than what was ultimately filed.

Shea took over as the interim U.S. attorney in D.C. only last week. He succeeded Jessie K. Liu, who stepped down pending a White House nomination to serve as Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes.

While Liu’s nomination was announced Jan. 6, it was somewhat unusual that she departed before a Senate confirmation hearing was scheduled. Moreover, the selection of Shea to replace her was outside the norm, as it bypassed the office’s veteran principal assistant U.S. attorney, Alessio Evangelista. In the past, the principal assistant has often been elevated to serve as interim U.S. attorney.

It can be common for prosecutors to disagree about sentencing recommendations, especially when it comes to politically sensitive cases. It would have been unusual, however, for the U.S. attorney’s office to endorse a sentence below the guideline range after winning conviction at trial, according to former federal prosecutors.

In a 22-page filing, prosecutors Jonathan Kravis, Michael J. Marando, Adam C. Jed and Aaron S.J. Zelinksky wrote that a sentence of 87 to 108 months, “consistent with the applicable advisory Guidelines would accurately reflect the seriousness of [Stone’s] crimes and promote respect for the law.” Leaving a hearing in federal court in Washington, Jed and Kravis — who seemed to learn of the Justice Department’s shift in position from a reporter — declined to comment.

Kravis and Marando are part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. Jed and Zelinsky were members of Mueller’s team now on special assignment to the office.

Stone’s defense on Monday asked for a sentence of probation, citing his age, 67, and lack of criminal history. They also noted that of seven Mueller defendants who have been sentenced, only one faces more than a six-month term: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is serving 7½ years.

Given the hardships and loss of professional standing suffered by Stone and his family, “No one could seriously contend that a [reduced . . .] sentence would cause anyone to walk away from these proceedings believing that one can commit the offenses at issue here with impunity,” defense attorneys Bruce S. Rogow, Robert C. Buschel and Grant J. Smith wrote.

Federal guidelines typically call for a sentence ranging from 15 to 21 months for first-time offenders convicted of obstruction offenses, such as lying to Congress, making false statements and witness tampering, as Stone was.

The range ratchets up steeply, potentially to more than seven years in prison, if the offense involves other factors such as threatening physical injury or property damage to a witness; substantially interfering with the administration of justice; or the willful obstruction of justice. Each was cited by prosecutors.

A seven- to nine-year term “will send the message that tampering with a witness, obstructing justice, and lying in the context of a congressional investigation on matters of critical national importance are not crimes to be taken lightly,” prosecutors wrote.

Barr has been critical of the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Trump’s campaign that Mueller ultimately took over. When the Justice Department inspector general found last year that the bureau had adequate cause to open the case, Barr issued a remarkable public statement registering his disagreement. He said the case was initiated “on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”

“It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory,” he added.

Barr has tasked the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut with exploring the origins of the case, and current and former law enforcement officials have expressed concern that it might be an effort to undercut an investigation because Trump did not like it.

 

Isn't the Judge Amy Jackson Berman? Do you think she'll just let this corruption pass? Can she let it pass? Or can she sentence however she feels fit, even if it's (much) higher than the prosecution asks for?

If she does sentence higher, I'm almost convinced that Trump will pardon Stone. Maybe he'll pardon him either way.

Or, if Stone does god to prison, maybe he will go the way of Epstein. Because if Stone were to talk...

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fraurosena

Whoah. 

Roger Stone prosecutors resign from case after DOJ backpedals on sentencing recommendation

Quote

The lead prosecutor in Roger Stone's criminal case abruptly resigned from the case on Tuesday after the Justice Department said it planned to reduce the recommended sentence for the longtime Trump associate.

The Justice Department was pulling back on its request to sentence Stone to seven to nine years in prison after President Donald Trump blasted the sentencing proposal as "a miscarriage of justice."

“The department finds the recommendation extreme and excessive and will clarify its position later today," a senior department official confirmed to NBC News.

After the reports of the imminent softer sentencing recommendation, lead prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky withdrew as a prosecutor in the case. A footnote in his court filing noted that "the undersigned attorney has resigned effective immediately."

Zelinsky, who was a part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian election interference, is not resigning from the Justice Department but is leaving the Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office and returning to his old job with the U.S. Attorney in Maryland.

Another one of the prosecutors, Jonathan Kravis, also resigned— both from the case and his job as an assistant U.S. attorney. Kravis on Tuesday filed a notice with the judge saying he "no longer represents the government in this matter."

Trump in a tweet earlier Tuesday called the department's initial sentencing proposal "disgraceful!"

"This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” the president wrote in a follow-up post on Twitter. “The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!"

Federal prosecutors sought seven to nine years in prison for Stone in a sentencing memorandum they filed Monday in Washington, D.C. Prosecutors said the recommendation was in line with the sentencing guideline outlined by federal law.

"Roger Stone obstructed Congress's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lied under oath, and tampered with a witness," prosecutors wrote in a 26-page memo. "When his crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this court and the rule of law."

Stone, a self-described "dirty trickster," has been well-known in conservative circles dating to President Richard Nixon's campaign. Stone, a Trump associate for over three decades, also served early on as an adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign and has called the case against him politically motivated.

Stone was arrested and charged just over a year ago. He was the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of the former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. The colorful trial in Washington lasted nearly two weeks and featured references to "The Godfather Part II," threats of dognapping, complaints of food poisoning and a gag order. The jury deliberated for two days before handing down the verdict.

This is not the first time a Trump associate in a Mueller-derived case had their sentence reduced. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison last March by a federal judge in Virginia on financial fraud charges, considerably less than the federal guidelines of 19½ to 24 years. The judge in that case, Judge T.S. Ellis, called the guidelines "excessive."

 

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GreyhoundFan
1 hour ago, fraurosena said:

All four prosecutors have resigned.

Quote

All four career prosecutors handling the case against Roger Stone, a confidant of President Trump, asked to withdraw from the legal proceedings Tuesday — and one quit his job entirely — after the Justice Department signaled it planned to reduce their sentencing recommendation for the president’s friend.

Jonathan Kravis, one of the prosecutors, wrote in a court filing he had resigned as an assistant U.S. attorney, leaving government altogether. Three others — Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, Adam Jed and Michael Marando — asked a judge’s permission to leave the case.

Zelinsky, a former member of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team, also indicated in a filing he was quitting his special assignment to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, though a spokeswoman said he will remain an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore.

None provided a reason for their decisions.

The departures come just hours after a senior Justice Department official told reporters that the agency’s leadership had been “shocked” by the seven-to-nine-year penalty prosecutors asked a judge to impose on Stone and intended to ask for a lesser penalty.

“That recommendation is not what had been briefed to the department,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive case. “The department finds the recommendation extreme and excessive and disproportionate to Stone’s offenses.”

Later Tuesday, the department filed an updated sentencing recommendation that contradicted the reasoning laid out by line prosecutors and asserting the initial guidance “could be considered excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances.” The memorandum was signed by interim D.C. U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea and his criminal division supervisor, John Crabb Jr.

None of the four career attorneys who signed the first memo affixed their names to the second.

“Ultimately, the government defers to the Court as to what specific sentence is appropriate under the facts and circumstances of this case,” Shea and Crabb wrote.

Through a spokeswoman, Zelinsky declined to comment. Jed also declined to comment. Kravis could not immediately be reached.

The department’s decision to overrule frontline prosecutors and the prosecutors’ subsequent moves laid bare the tension — between career prosecutors and department leadership — that has roiled the Stone case in recent days, and it raises fresh concerns about the politicization of Trump’s Justice Department.

The Justice Department’s statement came hours after Trump tweeted about the sentence prosecutors had recommended, saying: “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!” He expressed similar sentiments after the Justice Department’s change in posture became public Tuesday, saying the earlier recommendation was “an insult to our country,” though he also claimed, “I have not been involved in it at all.”

“That was a horrible aberration. These are, I guess, the same Mueller people that put everybody through hell and I think it was a disgrace,” Trump said. “They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the White House did not communicate with the agency on Monday or Tuesday, and that the decision to reverse course was made before Trump’s tweet.

Stone was convicted by a jury in November of obstructing Congress and witness tampering. His was the last conviction secured by Mueller as part of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Stone has been a friend and adviser to Trump since the 1980s and was a key figure in his 2016 campaign, working to discover damaging information on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Former Justice Department officials and those on the political left asserted the department’s abrupt shift on Stone was an egregious example of the president and his attorney general bending federal law enforcement to serve their political interests.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate the matter, writing, “This situation has all the indicia of improper political interference in a criminal prosecution.”

David Laufman, a former Justice Department official, called it a “shocking, cram-down political intervention” in the criminal justice process.

“We are now truly at a break-glass-in-case-of-fire moment for the Justice Dept.,” he wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) said the move amounted to “obstruction of justice.”

“We are seeing a full-frontal assault on the rule of law in America,” Pascrell said. “Direct political interference in our justice system is a hallmark of a banana republic. Despite whatever Trump, William Barr, and their helpers think, the United States is a nation of laws and not an authoritarian’s paradise.”

Attorney General William P. Barr has previously faced criticism for seeking to protect Trump and undercut the special counsel’s work.

In perhaps the most notable instance, he sent Congress a letter before public release of the special counsel’s report, describing what he called the investigation’s principal conclusions. Mueller, Barr wrote, did not find that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election, and reached no conclusion on whether Trump had sought to obstruct justice. Barr wrote that he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed the matter and concluded there was insufficient evidence to make an obstruction case.

The bare-bones description so infuriated the special counsel’s team that Mueller wrote to Barr complaining that the attorney general’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Russia probe. Barr, though, repeated his description at a news conference before Mueller’s full report was released, drawing criticism that he was trying to shape public opinion in a way favorable to Trump.

Mueller closed his office in May, though some members of his team stayed on special assignments to D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office to handle cases — including Stone’s — that were not resolved. People familiar with the matter say there was tension between them and their supervisors on what penalty to recommend.

As Monday’s court deadline neared for prosecutors to give a sentencing recommendation, it was still unclear what the office would do, after days of tense internal debates on the subject, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Front-line prosecutors, some previously from Mueller’s team, argued for a prison sentence on the higher end, while their bosses wanted to calculate the guidelines differently to get to a lower sentence. The debate centered around whether they should seek more prison time for obstruction that impedes the administration of justice, these people said.

In the end, the office filed a recommendation keeping with the line prosecutors’ goals, and rejecting the lighter recommendation sought by their superiors, the people said.

Hours before the filing was due Monday, Shea, the new head of the D.C. office and a former close adviser to Barr, had not made a final decision on Stone’s sentencing recommendation, they said.

It was not clear what was told to Barr or other Justice Department leaders about the final recommendation. The senior official said they were led to believe it would be lighter than what was ultimately filed. But some legal observers were skeptical.

Mary McCord, a former prosecutor and acting assistant attorney general for the department’s National Security Division, said decisions related to the sentencing of such high-profile political figures would not be made without initial consultation between a U.S. attorney’s office and Justice Department headquarters, and that it was is hard to imagine the department was truly taken aback.

“There is no way you can come away from this with anything other than an impression that Justice is taking its orders from the president and pandering to the president,” said McCord, who was also chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington. “This is causing lasting and long term damage to the department’s reputation and credibility”

Shea took over as the interim U.S. attorney in D.C. only last month. He succeeded Jessie K. Liu, who stepped down pending a White House nomination to serve as Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes.

While Liu’s nomination was announced Jan. 6, it was somewhat unusual that she departed before a Senate confirmation hearing was scheduled. Moreover, the selection of Shea to replace her was outside the norm, as it bypassed the office’s veteran principal assistant U.S. attorney, Alessio Evangelista. In the past, the principal assistant has often been elevated to serve as interim U.S. attorney.

It can be common for prosecutors to disagree about sentencing recommendations, especially when it comes to politically sensitive cases. It would have been unusual, however, for the U.S. attorney’s office to endorse a sentence below the guideline range after winning conviction at trial, according to former federal prosecutors.

In the initial 22-page sentencing recommendation, prosecutors Marando, Jed, Kravis and Zelinsky wrote that a sentence of 87 to 108 months, “consistent with the applicable advisory Guidelines would accurately reflect the seriousness of [Stone’s] crimes and promote respect for the law.”

Kravis and Marando were part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. Jed and Zelinsky were members of Mueller’s team on special assignment to the office. Kravis and Zelinsky revealed the resignations in formal requests to withdraw from the Stone case, which still must be approved by a judge. Jed and Marando asked to withdraw but gave no immediate indication they were resigning from the government.

Crabb, the head of the D.C. office’s criminal division and also a career prosecutor, entered the case in their place.

Stone’s defense on Monday asked for a sentence of probation, citing his age, 67, and lack of criminal history. They also noted that of seven Mueller defendants who have been sentenced, only one faces more than a six-month term: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is serving 7½ years.

Given the hardships and loss of professional standing suffered by Stone and his family, “No one could seriously contend that a [reduced . . .] sentence would cause anyone to walk away from these proceedings believing that one can commit the offenses at issue here with impunity,” defense attorneys Bruce S. Rogow, Robert C. Buschel and Grant J. Smith wrote.

Federal prison sentences are calculated using mathematical formulas. While prosecutors and defense lawyers make recommendations based on their calculations, ultimately it is up to the judge to decide which factors to consider in sentencing someone, and whether to adhere to the recommendation or depart.

In Stone’s case, the prosecutors came up with a recommendation of seven to nine years based on a number of aggravating factors, including an alleged threat to harm a witness, to whom Stone sent the message, “prepare to die,” and because prosecutors decided Stone’s conduct resulted in “substantial interference in the administration of justice.”

Under the federal sentencing guidelines’ point system, those factors add years to Stone’s prospective prison sentence. Stone and the witness in question, Randy Credico, both have maintained Stone’s statement was not a threat of violence, but part of Stone’s history of making bombastic statements.

In their Monday filing, prosecutors argued more time should be added to Stone’s sentence because of his extensive criminal conduct, which stretched two years, and because they say he obstructed the prosecution of the case after he was charged.

In a Tuesday filing from Shea and Crabb, the government argued those enhancements were overkill, noting that Stone’s victim has asked for leniency for him and did not view the statement as an actual threat. The new filing also contended that the enhancements endorsed in the previous government filing were not in keeping with the sentences generally doled out to nonviolent offenders.

Tuesday’s filing suggested — but does not outright recommend — that a sentence of three to four years would be reasonable, and “more in line with the typical sentences imposed in obstruction cases.”

Prosecutors in another case brought by the special counsel’s office, against Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, also recently walked back a sentencing recommendation — though the move was subtle.

In early January, prosecutors recommended that Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., be sentenced “within the Guidelines range” of zero to six months in prison. But in another filing just weeks later, they made clear they agreed with Flynn “that a sentence of probation is a reasonable.”

Prosecutors did not explain in the later filing why they emphasized probation as a reasonable sentence for Flynn. Both documents were signed by career prosecutors — Brandon L. Van Grack and Jocelyn Ballantine — though Van Grack has not signed some later filings in the case. Flynn is now seeking to withdraw his guilty plea, alleging a variety of government misconduct.

Barr has been critical of the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Trump’s campaign that Mueller ultimately took over. When the Justice Department inspector general found last year that the bureau had adequate cause to open the case, Barr issued a remarkable public statement registering his disagreement. He said the case was initiated “on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”

“It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory,” he added.

Barr has tasked the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut with exploring the origins of the case, and current and former law enforcement officials have expressed concern that it might be an effort to undercut an investigation because Trump did not like it.

 

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Maximum banana republic level achieved: "Trump raises possibility of suing those involved in prosecuting Roger Stone"

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President Trump on Tuesday raised the possibility of suing those involved in prosecuting the Roger Stone case after sharing the opinion of a Fox News commentator who said it is “pretty obvious” that Stone, Trump’s longtime political confidant, should get a new trial.

Trump’s morning tweets marked his latest efforts to intervene in the case of Stone, who faces sentencing this week on charges of witness tampering and lying to Congress.

Defense lawyers for Stone demanded a new trial Friday, one day after Trump suggested that the forewoman in the federal case had “significant bias.”

Trump was referring to Tomeka Hart, a former president of the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners and an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress. Hart has identified herself as the forewoman of the jury in a Facebook post, saying she “can’t keep quiet any longer” in the wake of a Justice Department move to reduce its sentencing recommendation for Stone from the seven to nine years recommended by front-line prosecutors.

In his tweets on Tuesday, Trump quoted at length Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge and Fox News commentator who argued that Stone should receive a trial based on “the unambiguous & self outed bias of the foreperson of the jury.”

“Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial),” Trump quoted Napolitano as saying. “I think almost any judge in the Country would order a new trial, I’m not so sure about Judge Jackson, I don’t know.”

Napolitano was referring to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over Stone’s case and who has drawn Trump’s ire on Twitter for her treatment of another ally of his, Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman.

A Justice Department official said later Tuesday that prosecutors have filed under seal a motion opposing Stone’s request for a new trial, and the filing was approved by Attorney General William P. Barr. That would seem to put Barr at odds with Trump.

“This decision was made independent of the White House,” said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

In his Trump’s tweets — which began about an hour after Napolitano appeared on “Fox & Friends” — he also derided prosecutors in the Stone case as “Mueller prosecutors,” a reference to those who worked for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who investigated possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russian in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump called that investigation “fraudulent,” adding: “If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place. BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL.”

All four career prosecutors handling the case against Stone withdrew from the legal proceedings last week — and one quit his job entirely — after the Justice Department signaled it planned to undercut their sentencing recommendation. Two of those prosecutors had worked for Mueller.

Asked about Trump’s talk of lawsuits, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Tuesday that “the president’s obviously frustrated.”

“For three years he has been under attack in one way or the other, and the Mueller report is another example of that,” Grisham said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” during which she also alluded to the Stone case. “I mean the foreperson of a jury was somebody who was very vocal about not liking President Trump or his supporters. . . . That’s scary stuff.”

Stone has been a friend and adviser to Trump since the 1980s and was a key figure in his 2016 campaign, working to discover damaging information on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

A jury convicted Stone in November on charges of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his efforts to gather damaging information about Clinton. His was the last conviction secured by Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Stone’s defense has asked for a sentence of probation, citing his age, 67, and lack of criminal history.

The handling of the Stone case has roiled the Justice Department.

More than 2,000 former department employees signed a public letter over the weekend urging Barr to resign over his handling of the case and exhorted current department employees to report any unethical conduct. At Barr’s urging, the Justice Department filed an updated sentencing memo suggesting that Stone should receive less prison time.

During her Fox News appearance, Grisham downplayed the significance of the letter from former Justice Department employees.

“Look, all across government, the president has been saying, and I think it’s been proven time and again, there are obstructionists all across this government who are working against the president,” Grisham said.

Grisham also dismissed a question about whether Barr might step down.

“That is not something I’m aware of, absolutely not,” she said.

In a television interview last week, Barr pushed back against Trump’s continuing tweets about the Justice Department, saying that they “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

 

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"Roger Stone will be sentenced Thursday despite his ongoing bid to overturn conviction"

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Republican strategist Roger Stone, a close friend of President Trump, will be sentenced Thursday despite his ongoing efforts to overturn the guilty verdicts against him, a judge in Washington federal court ruled.

“There’s been a lot of work that’s gone into the sentencing,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Tuesday. “It makes sense to proceed.”

Jackson said that “execution of the sentence will be deferred” while she decides whether Stone deserves a new trial.

“I’m willing to make sure that there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of what the sentencing will be,” she said.

Prosecutors on Tuesday filed under seal a motion opposing Stone’s request, and the filing was approved by Attorney General William P. Barr, said a Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

That appears to put Barr at odds with Trump, who on Tuesday quoted a Fox News segment arguing that Stone should get a new trial. Trump said last week that the jury forewoman in the case had “significant bias.”

Stone, 67, was convicted last year of lying to Congress about his attempts to get details from Hillary Clinton’s private emails from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. Prosecutors said Stone intimidated a friend who could contradict his testimony.

As his Thursday sentencing has drawn near, the longtime GOP operative has twice argued that he deserves a new trial. Jackson rejected his first such demand earlier this month, saying she found no evidence that a juror who worked for the Internal Revenue Service was biased.

His latest motion remains sealed, and defense attorney Seth Ginsberg said in court Tuesday only that “this issue goes to the heart of the case and is such a fundamental issue.”

“It is possible that the entire proceeding might have been different” had it been addressed earlier, Ginsberg said in arguing for a sentencing delay.

“This motion should be handled expeditiously, but I also don’t think it should be handled in a rushed fashion,” the judge said. After sentencing, she said, there will be “ample time.”

The Trump administration’s intervention in Stone’s case has roiled the Justice Department and the federal judiciary. Trump has repeatedly attacked the prosecutors, judge and jury, and on Tuesday, Trump sent tweets suggesting that “everyone” involved in prosecuting the case could be sued.

All four of the prosecutors who handled the case withdrew last week after Barr publicly overruled their recommendation that Stone serve seven to nine years in prison. The suggestion of a more lenient sentence that came after Trump complained about the initial recommendation raised questions about whether the White House was meddling in prosecutions and eroding the independence of the Justice Department.

More than 2,000 former Justice Department employees subsequently signed a public letter urging Barr to resign, and the head of the Federal Judges Association has called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

Trump has also derided the prosecution of his first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, for lying to the FBI. Flynn, who is attempting to withdraw his admission of guilt, filed a motion Tuesday suggesting Barr agrees the case was improperly handled.

“It is not settled that there was a valid predicate for any investigation of Mr. Flynn,” defense attorneys wrote, citing Barr’s public criticism of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. “Barr ... publicly stated [his] contrary position.”

Barr was speaking about another aspect of the Russia investigation and did not mention Flynn in those comments. But the attorney general has assigned Jeff Jensen, the U.S. attorney in St. Louis, to review and “assist” prosecutors currently handling the case.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department was represented in court by two senior prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia: John Crabb, the acting chief of the criminal division, and J.P. Cooney, the head of the fraud unit. They agreed with Jackson that sentencing should go forward this week.

The basis of Stone’s most recent request for a new trial remains under seal, but came after the president criticized the jury forewoman in the case.

Tomeka Hart, a former president of the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners, identified herself as the forewoman in a Facebook post, saying she “can’t keep quiet any longer” in the wake of the Justice Department’s efforts to seek a more lenient sentence for Stone than the seven to nine years recommended by front-line prosecutors.

Although Hart was not named at the trial, the juror’s identity was always known to both Stone’s defense and prosecutors throughout the proceedings. She disclosed her background, including a bid for Congress, in public pretrial jury selection. Stone’s attorneys and his trial judge had the opportunity to question Hart directly and challenge her eligibility at the time.

Stone’s defense team has asked for a sentence of probation, citing his age and lack of criminal history. At trial, they argued that any inaccuracies in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee were irrelevant because the Trump campaign never succeeded in getting information from WikiLeaks, and that his threats to his friend Randy Credico were not serious.

Prosecutors said that defense was not only inadequate but corrosive to society.

“If that’s the state of affairs that we’re in, I’m pretty shocked,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Marando told jurors in his closing argument. “Truth matters. Truth still matters.”

 

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I guess this will be the next pardon: "Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months for lying to Congress, witness tampering amid turmoil between Justice Dept. and Trump on penalty"

Spoiler

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime friend, to serve three years and four months in prison for impeding a congressional investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The penalty from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson comes after weeks of infighting over the politically charged case that threw the Justice Department into crisis, and it is likely not to be the final word. Even before the sentencing hearing began, Trump seemed to suggest on Twitter he might pardon Stone. With the proceedings ongoing, Trump questioned if his ally was being treated fairly.

In a lengthy speech before imposing the penalty, Jackson seemed to take aim at Trump — saying Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president; he was prosecuted for covering up for the president.” She also appeared to call out Attorney General William P. Barr, whose intervention to reduce career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation she called “unprecedented.” But she said the politics surrounding the case had not influenced her final decision.

“The truth still exists, the truth still matters,” Jackson said. “Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the foundations of our democracies. If it goes unpunished it will not be a victory for one political party; everyone loses.”

She added, “The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys traded barbs in court Thursday over the penalty Stone should face, and the judge sought both to understand their disputes and the internal Justice Department haggling over what penalty the government would endorse. The judge also made clear she thought Stone had not been unfairly targeted.

“He was not prosecuted by anyone to gain political advantage,” she said.

A little more than an hour earlier, Trump publicly insisted just the opposite. In a tweet, he compared Stone to former FBI Director James B. Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who the president has pushed for charges against.

“‘They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.’ @CNN,” Trump wrote, tagging the news network. “OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?”

Prosecutors took a fairly aggressive posture toward Stone. Those in court Thursday were not the four prosecutors previously assigned to the case; they quit over a dispute about what penalty the Justice Department should recommend. The new prosecutors in court adopted the same technical arguments of their predecessors early in the proceedings, and defended the Justice Department’s bringing the case.

“This prosecution is righteous,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said.

Crabb said the court “should impose a substantial period of incarceration,” though he did not propose a specific number of months or years. “The court will rely on its own sound judgment and experience,” he said. The previous prosecutors had recommended that Stone spend seven-to-nine years in prison.

Jackson made clear she thought Stone’s crimes were serious. She called his testimony “plainly false” and “a flat-out lie,” and said his misdirection “shut out important avenues” for Congress to investigate. She said Stone knew “it could reflect badly on president if someone learned” about his efforts to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton, who was then running against Trump to be president, from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Jackson acknowledged the unusual politics surrounding situation as the hearing began, saying she had reviewed two sentencing memorandums filed by the government. The first, filed by career prosecutors initially assigned to the case, recommended a term of seven-to-nine years. The second, filed after Barr personally intervened just hours after Trump tweeted about the case, recommended something lesser.

Jackson noted that prosecutors “initial memo has not been withdrawn,” and suggested the government’s updated position was somewhat unusual.

“For those who woke up last week and became persuaded that the guidelines are harsh and perhaps sentences shouldn’t be driven by strict application of a mathematical formula … I can assure you that defense attorneys and judges have been making that argument for a very long time,” she said. “But we don’t usually succeed in getting the government to agree.”

Jackson pressed Crabb for answers. She asked why the Justice Department ultimately chose to recommend bucking the guidelines in the case — when department policies do not let prosecutors argue for a sentence below the guidelines without approval — and questioned why Crabb was in court at all.

“I fear that you know less about this case than possibly anybody else in the courtroom,” Jackson said.

Crabb said the original prosecutors on the case had approval from the U.S. Attorney to make the recommendation they did, and their filing was “done in good faith.” He said his understanding was there had been a “miscommunication between the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia,” centered around “what the expectations were from the AG and what the appropriate filing would be.” He apologized for the “confusion” — though even in court, his position seemed somewhat muddled.

Crabb seemed to endorse the same, technical logic prosecutors had used in generating their recommendation in the first sentencing memorandum. Asked by Jackson about the change in position, Crabb said, “The guidelines enhancement applies here for the reasons set forth in the original sentencing memorandum.” He did not elaborate.

“What is the government’s position today?” Jackson asked, emphasizing the word today. When Crabb said he had nothing more to offer, she said with a bit of exasperation, “Okay, fine.”

Stone, 67, who wore a wide-striped suit and a polka-dot tie to court Thursday, was convicted by a federal jury in November on seven counts of lying to Congress and tampering with a witness about his efforts to learn about hacked Democratic emails related to Trump’s 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors said the longtime GOP operative lied during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017 to conceal his central role in the Trump campaign’s efforts to learn about computer files hacked by Russia and made public by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. Stone also threatened a witness who was an associate of his in an attempt to prevent the man from cooperating with lawmakers.

Stone was the sixth Trump associate convicted and the last person indicted in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

Trump injected additional drama into Stone’s sentencing day with an overnight tweet that hinted he could issue a pardon to Stone.

“President Trump could end this travesty in an instant with a pardon, and there are indications tonight that he will do that,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a video shared by Trump with his Twitter followers. Carlson noted in the video a series of pardons and commutations that the president has already granted this week.

Carlson called Stone’s prosecution “wholly political” and “a shocking insult to the American tradition of equal justice.” Trump, who spent the night in Las Vegas, fired off the tweet shortly before 2 a.m. Eastern time.

Stone’s defense attorneys have asked for probation, citing his age and lack of criminal history. On Friday, Stone also requested a new trial after Trump suggested that the forewoman in Stone’s case had “significant bias.”

Defense attorney Seth Ginsberg argued in court Thursday for mercy, saying Stone is “a real person, not a media figure, not a political character but a real person,” who is soon to be a great-grandfather. He emphasized Stone has “given of himself” to various causes — including veterans, animal welfare and football players suffering from traumatic brain injuries — and has “worked to bridge racial divides in this country.”

That, he said, is “who Mr. Stone really is — not the larger than life political persona that he plays on TV, but the real person who goes home every day to his wife and his family.”

Ginsberg argued that New York City comedian and radio host Randy Credico, the witness Stone was convicted of threatening, understood Stone was “all bark and no bite.” Credico appealed for leniency in a letter to the court: “The bottom line is Mr. Stone, at his core, is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention … Prison is no remedy.”

“Even though the words on their face could be read as threatening, in the context of the dialogue between Mr. Credico and Mr. Stone it’s our position that these words … did not themselves constitute a threat as all,” Ginsberg said. “Mr. Stone is known for using rough, provocative, hyperbolic language. Mr. Credico knew that … in the context of that private conversation Mr. Credico understood that it was just Stone being Stone, he’s all bark no bite. … there’s no threat at all.”

Crabb countered that the government believes the enhancement for threatening violence should apply: “The fact is that the defendant threatened Mr. Credico’s personal safety and his pet,” Crabb said. The judge agreed, quoting from some of Stone’s profane texts to Credico.

“The defendant referred to this as banter, which it hardly is,” the judge said.

Jackson said this week that she will postpone the implementation of Stone’s sentence while she weighs whether he deserves a new trial.

Crabb spoke briefly in favor of a sentencing enhancement for successful obstruction of justice, noting that both government filings were in concert on that point.

That is technically true, though the memorandum he signed suggested the enhancement was duplicative and added, “it is unclear to what extent the defendant’s obstructive conduct actually prejudiced the government at trial.”

The judge ultimately applied the enhancement, saying Stone’s lies led to an “incorrect inaccurate and incomplete report” from Congress.

Crabb also argued for an enhancement for extensive obstructive conduct saying Stone engaged in a “series of lies” and destroyed records — though the judge rejected that.

Front-line prosecutors initially said a seven-to-nine year prison term for Stone “will send the message … that [impeding] a congressional investigation on matters of critical national importance are not crimes to be taken lightly.”

Prosecutors also said that after Stone’s “crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this Court and the rule of law.”

But the four trial prosecutors quit the case last week when the Justice Department undercut the initial sentencing recommendation and suggested that three to four years was “more typical” in cases like Stone’s.

In its subsequent request, the government said that while the higher sentencing guidelines technically apply because Stone threatened violence against a witness, they should be set aside because the witness now states he did not feel that Stone would personally and directly harm him.

Given Stone’s age, health and status as a first-time offender, the higher sentencing range “could be considered excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances,” the government’s amended request said.

The new sentencing recommendation came after the president tweeted that the initial suggested penalty for his friend was “horrible and very unfair.”

The Trump administration’s intervention in Stone’s case has set off a crisis for the Justice Department, which has been accused of suggesting a more lenient sentence for Stone to appease the president.

Amid accusations impugning the independence of the Justice Department, Barr stated publicly that the president’s attacks against judges, prosecutors, jurors and his aides “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts … and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.” This week, those close to Barr said the attorney general has told Trump advisers he has considered resigning over the president’s tweets. Trump, meanwhile, has continued to tweet about the Stone case — suggesting his friend deserves a new trial — even as the Justice Department, with Barr’s blessing, has opposed Stone’s request on that front.

Lawyers for Stone argue he deserves no jail time, saying federal guidelines would call for a sentence of 15 to 21 months for a first offense without aggravating factors.

Citing Stone’s loss of professional standing and hardships, defense attorneys Bruce S. Rogow, Robert C. Buschel and Grant J. Smith wrote, “no one could seriously contend that a [reduced] … sentence would cause anyone to walk away from these proceedings believing that one can commit the offenses at issue here with impunity.”

Stone is one of several Trump advisers and confidants who have either been convicted or pleaded guilty in connection with the special counsel probe. That list includes former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Stone’s two-week trial in November refocused attention on the Trump campaign’s keen appetite for dirt on its political opponents. The trial included testimony from former 2016 deputy campaign manager Gates, who testified he overheard a July 2016 phone call in which Trump himself seemed to discuss WikiLeaks with Stone.

The trial also highlighted Trump’s ongoing standoff with congressional Democrats, then conducting an impeachment inquiry into whether the president pressured Ukraine to bolster his 2020 reelection bid. Trump directed the White House to withhold documents and block testimony in the inquiry, which ended in a Senate acquittal.

Prosecutors asserted at trial that Stone thwarted Congress because the truth would have “looked terrible” for Trump and the campaign. Prosecutors argued Stone lied to protect the president from embarrassment.

Prosecution witnesses included Gates and Trump campaign strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who took over in August 2016 when Gates’s boss, Manafort, was fired over his Ukraine ties. Gates and Bannon said the campaign viewed Stone as a sort of liaison to WikiLeaks who claimed — even before the Russian hacking was known — to have insight into its plans.

Stone’s defense repeated his position that there was “no collusion” with Russia and portrayed their client as a hapless victim of the same braggadocio and chicanery that he practiced on others, burnishing his reputation as a political dirty trickster. Stone’s defense said any of their client’s misstatements were inconsequential and never amounted to anything.

Prosecutors argued that Stone’s communications with his acquaintance, conservative writer Jerome Corsi, described plans during the campaign to contact WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had been living under house arrest at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London since 2012.

Stone and Corsi, who was never charged, denied having any contact with WikiLeaks, saying prosecutors were guessing based on Assange’s public statements.

Judge Jackson also will consider whether to punish Stone for repeatedly violating a court gag order.

Before trial, Stone posted a photo of Jackson with an image of crosshairs next to her head on Instagram in February 2019. During his trial, he appealed for a presidential pardon through Alex Jones, a noted conspiracy theorist who hosts the right-wing website Infowars, prosecutors said.

 

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1 hour ago, GreyhoundFan said:

I guess this will be the next pardon: "Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months for lying to Congress, witness tampering amid turmoil between Justice Dept. and Trump on penalty"

  Reveal hidden contents

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime friend, to serve three years and four months in prison for impeding a congressional investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The penalty from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson comes after weeks of infighting over the politically charged case that threw the Justice Department into crisis, and it is likely not to be the final word. Even before the sentencing hearing began, Trump seemed to suggest on Twitter he might pardon Stone. With the proceedings ongoing, Trump questioned if his ally was being treated fairly.

In a lengthy speech before imposing the penalty, Jackson seemed to take aim at Trump — saying Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president; he was prosecuted for covering up for the president.” She also appeared to call out Attorney General William P. Barr, whose intervention to reduce career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation she called “unprecedented.” But she said the politics surrounding the case had not influenced her final decision.

“The truth still exists, the truth still matters,” Jackson said. “Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the foundations of our democracies. If it goes unpunished it will not be a victory for one political party; everyone loses.”

She added, “The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys traded barbs in court Thursday over the penalty Stone should face, and the judge sought both to understand their disputes and the internal Justice Department haggling over what penalty the government would endorse. The judge also made clear she thought Stone had not been unfairly targeted.

“He was not prosecuted by anyone to gain political advantage,” she said.

A little more than an hour earlier, Trump publicly insisted just the opposite. In a tweet, he compared Stone to former FBI Director James B. Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who the president has pushed for charges against.

“‘They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.’ @CNN,” Trump wrote, tagging the news network. “OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?”

Prosecutors took a fairly aggressive posture toward Stone. Those in court Thursday were not the four prosecutors previously assigned to the case; they quit over a dispute about what penalty the Justice Department should recommend. The new prosecutors in court adopted the same technical arguments of their predecessors early in the proceedings, and defended the Justice Department’s bringing the case.

“This prosecution is righteous,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said.

Crabb said the court “should impose a substantial period of incarceration,” though he did not propose a specific number of months or years. “The court will rely on its own sound judgment and experience,” he said. The previous prosecutors had recommended that Stone spend seven-to-nine years in prison.

Jackson made clear she thought Stone’s crimes were serious. She called his testimony “plainly false” and “a flat-out lie,” and said his misdirection “shut out important avenues” for Congress to investigate. She said Stone knew “it could reflect badly on president if someone learned” about his efforts to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton, who was then running against Trump to be president, from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Jackson acknowledged the unusual politics surrounding situation as the hearing began, saying she had reviewed two sentencing memorandums filed by the government. The first, filed by career prosecutors initially assigned to the case, recommended a term of seven-to-nine years. The second, filed after Barr personally intervened just hours after Trump tweeted about the case, recommended something lesser.

Jackson noted that prosecutors “initial memo has not been withdrawn,” and suggested the government’s updated position was somewhat unusual.

“For those who woke up last week and became persuaded that the guidelines are harsh and perhaps sentences shouldn’t be driven by strict application of a mathematical formula … I can assure you that defense attorneys and judges have been making that argument for a very long time,” she said. “But we don’t usually succeed in getting the government to agree.”

Jackson pressed Crabb for answers. She asked why the Justice Department ultimately chose to recommend bucking the guidelines in the case — when department policies do not let prosecutors argue for a sentence below the guidelines without approval — and questioned why Crabb was in court at all.

“I fear that you know less about this case than possibly anybody else in the courtroom,” Jackson said.

Crabb said the original prosecutors on the case had approval from the U.S. Attorney to make the recommendation they did, and their filing was “done in good faith.” He said his understanding was there had been a “miscommunication between the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia,” centered around “what the expectations were from the AG and what the appropriate filing would be.” He apologized for the “confusion” — though even in court, his position seemed somewhat muddled.

Crabb seemed to endorse the same, technical logic prosecutors had used in generating their recommendation in the first sentencing memorandum. Asked by Jackson about the change in position, Crabb said, “The guidelines enhancement applies here for the reasons set forth in the original sentencing memorandum.” He did not elaborate.

“What is the government’s position today?” Jackson asked, emphasizing the word today. When Crabb said he had nothing more to offer, she said with a bit of exasperation, “Okay, fine.”

Stone, 67, who wore a wide-striped suit and a polka-dot tie to court Thursday, was convicted by a federal jury in November on seven counts of lying to Congress and tampering with a witness about his efforts to learn about hacked Democratic emails related to Trump’s 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors said the longtime GOP operative lied during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017 to conceal his central role in the Trump campaign’s efforts to learn about computer files hacked by Russia and made public by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. Stone also threatened a witness who was an associate of his in an attempt to prevent the man from cooperating with lawmakers.

Stone was the sixth Trump associate convicted and the last person indicted in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

Trump injected additional drama into Stone’s sentencing day with an overnight tweet that hinted he could issue a pardon to Stone.

“President Trump could end this travesty in an instant with a pardon, and there are indications tonight that he will do that,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a video shared by Trump with his Twitter followers. Carlson noted in the video a series of pardons and commutations that the president has already granted this week.

Carlson called Stone’s prosecution “wholly political” and “a shocking insult to the American tradition of equal justice.” Trump, who spent the night in Las Vegas, fired off the tweet shortly before 2 a.m. Eastern time.

Stone’s defense attorneys have asked for probation, citing his age and lack of criminal history. On Friday, Stone also requested a new trial after Trump suggested that the forewoman in Stone’s case had “significant bias.”

Defense attorney Seth Ginsberg argued in court Thursday for mercy, saying Stone is “a real person, not a media figure, not a political character but a real person,” who is soon to be a great-grandfather. He emphasized Stone has “given of himself” to various causes — including veterans, animal welfare and football players suffering from traumatic brain injuries — and has “worked to bridge racial divides in this country.”

That, he said, is “who Mr. Stone really is — not the larger than life political persona that he plays on TV, but the real person who goes home every day to his wife and his family.”

Ginsberg argued that New York City comedian and radio host Randy Credico, the witness Stone was convicted of threatening, understood Stone was “all bark and no bite.” Credico appealed for leniency in a letter to the court: “The bottom line is Mr. Stone, at his core, is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention … Prison is no remedy.”

“Even though the words on their face could be read as threatening, in the context of the dialogue between Mr. Credico and Mr. Stone it’s our position that these words … did not themselves constitute a threat as all,” Ginsberg said. “Mr. Stone is known for using rough, provocative, hyperbolic language. Mr. Credico knew that … in the context of that private conversation Mr. Credico understood that it was just Stone being Stone, he’s all bark no bite. … there’s no threat at all.”

Crabb countered that the government believes the enhancement for threatening violence should apply: “The fact is that the defendant threatened Mr. Credico’s personal safety and his pet,” Crabb said. The judge agreed, quoting from some of Stone’s profane texts to Credico.

“The defendant referred to this as banter, which it hardly is,” the judge said.

Jackson said this week that she will postpone the implementation of Stone’s sentence while she weighs whether he deserves a new trial.

Crabb spoke briefly in favor of a sentencing enhancement for successful obstruction of justice, noting that both government filings were in concert on that point.

That is technically true, though the memorandum he signed suggested the enhancement was duplicative and added, “it is unclear to what extent the defendant’s obstructive conduct actually prejudiced the government at trial.”

The judge ultimately applied the enhancement, saying Stone’s lies led to an “incorrect inaccurate and incomplete report” from Congress.

Crabb also argued for an enhancement for extensive obstructive conduct saying Stone engaged in a “series of lies” and destroyed records — though the judge rejected that.

Front-line prosecutors initially said a seven-to-nine year prison term for Stone “will send the message … that [impeding] a congressional investigation on matters of critical national importance are not crimes to be taken lightly.”

Prosecutors also said that after Stone’s “crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this Court and the rule of law.”

But the four trial prosecutors quit the case last week when the Justice Department undercut the initial sentencing recommendation and suggested that three to four years was “more typical” in cases like Stone’s.

In its subsequent request, the government said that while the higher sentencing guidelines technically apply because Stone threatened violence against a witness, they should be set aside because the witness now states he did not feel that Stone would personally and directly harm him.

Given Stone’s age, health and status as a first-time offender, the higher sentencing range “could be considered excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances,” the government’s amended request said.

The new sentencing recommendation came after the president tweeted that the initial suggested penalty for his friend was “horrible and very unfair.”

The Trump administration’s intervention in Stone’s case has set off a crisis for the Justice Department, which has been accused of suggesting a more lenient sentence for Stone to appease the president.

Amid accusations impugning the independence of the Justice Department, Barr stated publicly that the president’s attacks against judges, prosecutors, jurors and his aides “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts … and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.” This week, those close to Barr said the attorney general has told Trump advisers he has considered resigning over the president’s tweets. Trump, meanwhile, has continued to tweet about the Stone case — suggesting his friend deserves a new trial — even as the Justice Department, with Barr’s blessing, has opposed Stone’s request on that front.

Lawyers for Stone argue he deserves no jail time, saying federal guidelines would call for a sentence of 15 to 21 months for a first offense without aggravating factors.

Citing Stone’s loss of professional standing and hardships, defense attorneys Bruce S. Rogow, Robert C. Buschel and Grant J. Smith wrote, “no one could seriously contend that a [reduced] … sentence would cause anyone to walk away from these proceedings believing that one can commit the offenses at issue here with impunity.”

Stone is one of several Trump advisers and confidants who have either been convicted or pleaded guilty in connection with the special counsel probe. That list includes former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Stone’s two-week trial in November refocused attention on the Trump campaign’s keen appetite for dirt on its political opponents. The trial included testimony from former 2016 deputy campaign manager Gates, who testified he overheard a July 2016 phone call in which Trump himself seemed to discuss WikiLeaks with Stone.

The trial also highlighted Trump’s ongoing standoff with congressional Democrats, then conducting an impeachment inquiry into whether the president pressured Ukraine to bolster his 2020 reelection bid. Trump directed the White House to withhold documents and block testimony in the inquiry, which ended in a Senate acquittal.

Prosecutors asserted at trial that Stone thwarted Congress because the truth would have “looked terrible” for Trump and the campaign. Prosecutors argued Stone lied to protect the president from embarrassment.

Prosecution witnesses included Gates and Trump campaign strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who took over in August 2016 when Gates’s boss, Manafort, was fired over his Ukraine ties. Gates and Bannon said the campaign viewed Stone as a sort of liaison to WikiLeaks who claimed — even before the Russian hacking was known — to have insight into its plans.

Stone’s defense repeated his position that there was “no collusion” with Russia and portrayed their client as a hapless victim of the same braggadocio and chicanery that he practiced on others, burnishing his reputation as a political dirty trickster. Stone’s defense said any of their client’s misstatements were inconsequential and never amounted to anything.

Prosecutors argued that Stone’s communications with his acquaintance, conservative writer Jerome Corsi, described plans during the campaign to contact WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had been living under house arrest at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London since 2012.

Stone and Corsi, who was never charged, denied having any contact with WikiLeaks, saying prosecutors were guessing based on Assange’s public statements.

Judge Jackson also will consider whether to punish Stone for repeatedly violating a court gag order.

Before trial, Stone posted a photo of Jackson with an image of crosshairs next to her head on Instagram in February 2019. During his trial, he appealed for a presidential pardon through Alex Jones, a noted conspiracy theorist who hosts the right-wing website Infowars, prosecutors said.

 

I'm surprised he hasn't been pardoned already, Dumpy must be taking a nap or something. 

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GreyhoundFan

"Strange scenes at Roger Stone’s sentencing raise even more questions about William Barr"

Spoiler

Official Washington has been consumed over the past week with the drama at the Justice Department. Attorney General William P. Barr is increasingly embattled thanks to President Trump’s heavy-handed approach to DOJ business, in which Barr has unsuccessfully urged Trump to stop meddling.

The scenes in a courtroom Thursday — where Stone was ultimately sentenced to 40 months in prison — only heightened the drama. And they raised more questions about what in the world is happening inside Barr’s DOJ.

Barr intervened last week to overrule career prosecutors’ tough, seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation for Trump ally Roger Stone — shortly after Trump tweeted in opposition to the recommended sentence. That prompted the four prosecutors on the case to withdraw. Then came a more watered-down recommendation, which was signed by the prosecutor now leading the charge for the Justice Department, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb.

But at Stone’s sentencing hearing on Thursday, Crabb sounded a very different tone. He repeatedly appeared to push the recommendation in the direction of the initial prosecutors’ harsher one, arguing for enhancements that the more recent memo suggested were unnecessary or unsubstantiated.

image.png.afd033075b54966ba4fb0431018b17b9.png

For instance, Crabb pushed for an enhancement because Stone’s obstruction of justice succeeded. The latest sentencing recommendation, though, argued that such an enhancement would be duplicative because “it is unclear to what extent the defendant’s obstructive conduct actually prejudiced the government at trial.” The judge, Amy Berman Jackson, granted the enhancement.

In another instance, Crabb seemed to pretty explicitly argue the initial recommendation was still in effect. According to The Post’s team:

In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb seemed to endorse the same, technical logic prosecutors had used in generating their recommendation in the first sentencing memorandum. Asked by Jackson about the change in position, Crabb said, “The guidelines enhancement applies here for the reasons set forth in the original sentencing memorandum.” He did not elaborate.

“What is the government’s position today?” Jackson asked, emphasizing the word today. When Crabb said he had nothing more to offer, she said with a bit of exasperation, “Okay, fine.”

Perhaps the most remarkable moment, though, came when the judge eventually tried to reconcile Crabb’s performance with his name having been on the updated sentencing recommendation, which he didn’t seem to be pushing.

Jackson asked whether he had actually written the memo; Crabb again declined to elaborate on what has happened within the Justice Department.

When she pressed, he even left open the possibility that he was directed to write it … by someone.

The scenes will heighten suspicions about what’s happening behind the scenes in the Justice Department. Some suggested Crabb was perhaps making a statement by reverting to the arguments in the first recommendation. If that’s not the case, though, the fact that he did move in that direction suggests this whole drama was somewhat pointless in the first place. If the Justice Department was just going to argue the same points from the first recommendation, why overrule the sentencing recommendation and make it look like Trump was dictating how his Justice Department prosecuted his ally?

Looming over all of it is Trump’s continued disregard for Barr’s request to stop tweeting about these matters. Even as the sentencing hearing was getting started on Thursday, Trump was tweeting about Stone and another case in which the Justice Department recently opted not to pursue charges — that of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

Barr has said such tweets make it “impossible for me to do my job” and has put out word that he has considered resigning if it continues.

It has continued, and the scenes in the courtroom Thursday don’t exactly suggest an attorney general who has control of the situation.

 

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fraurosena
1 hour ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Good grief. Judges usually praise juries:

 

To these people integrity is like holy water is to vampires.

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Gobsmacked

I'm watching a documentary about Trumpy. Roger Stone has evil reptilian eyes. I've never really studied his face before. 

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GreyhoundFan

"Roger Stone retrial request denied as judge rejects claims jury forewoman was biased"

Spoiler

A federal judge on Thursday rejected Roger Stone’s demand for a new trial, ruling that the jury forewoman in Stone’s trial was not substantially biased against President Trump’s longtime political confidant.

The longtime confidante of President Trump had argued his convictions should be tossed because a juror was biased against him.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson decided that while the juror might have had strong opinions, she did not lie, nor did she have a view on Stone.

The ruling came after Trump issued public statements stoking controversy over Stone’s case by attacking the integrity of the judge, jurors, federal prosecutors and the judicial system. The attacks were punctuated by the president’s blasting of the forewoman and Jackson as biased before and during a hearing earlier this year — despite warnings by Attorney General William P. Barr to stop tweeting about Justice Department criminal cases.

“There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case,” Trump tweeted during the hearing in which federal prosecutors were defending the jury verdict. “Look at her background. She never revealed her hatred of ‘Trump’ and Stone. She was totally biased, as is the judge. Roger wasn’t even working on my campaign. Miscarriage of justice. Sad to watch!”

A jury convicted Stone in November of lying during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017 to conceal his central role in the Trump campaign’s efforts to learn about Democratic computer files hacked by Russia and made public by WikiLeaks to damage Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

 

 

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GreyhoundFan

More info on slimy Roger:

 

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GreyhoundFan

I hope some nice scary dude picks Rog as his new "special friend":

 

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