The Justice Department (DOJ) has made plans to reduce its original sentencing recommendation for President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone amid criticism from the president and top officials, according to a report from Fox News.
On Monday, U.S. prosecutors asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence Stone to between seven and nine years in jail for lying to Congress and witness tampering. In November, Stone was found guilty on charges related to his efforts to spare the president embarrassment over the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
According to prosecutors, a sentence between seven and nine years for Stone would “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.”
An official for the Justice Department spoke with Fox News and said the department was “shocked” at the request from prosecutors.
“The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the Stone case last night,” the DOJ official told Fox News. “The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.”
The unnamed source added, “The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate to Mr. Stone’s offenses.”
Trump criticized the recommendation from prosecutors in a tweet early Tuesday morning.
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
“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!” Trump wrote.
Trump also shared tweets from other users who were concerned over the recommendation from prosecutors. Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2020.