According to reports, the Justice Department is gearing up to give an entirely new sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, walking back its earlier recommendation that he serve seven to nine years in prison.
“The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate to Mr. Stone’s offenses,” a DOJ source told Fox News. The source also claimed the decision was made before President Trump tweeted that it was a “miscarriage of justice.”
Upon hearing the news, numerous legal experts on Twitter were taken aback:
I do not envy the DOJ lawyers who are going to have to convince the judge that political pressure was not applied to suddenly backtrack on their sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) February 11, 2020
It would be nice if the millions & millions of other people hauled into court & facing “extreme” treatment every day — disproportionately from Black & Brown communities —were provided with the same care & individualized justice Roger Stone will receive.https://t.co/WoEnd6gnli
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) February 11, 2020
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) February 11, 2020
Having a hard time thinking of a case in which DOJ said a guideline sentence would be inappropriate – let alone grossly so – for a defendant who went to trial and didn't cooperate. Maybe they exist, but they're rare.
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) February 11, 2020
A U.S. Attorney who actually believed in the rule of law and/or any modicum of prosecutorial independence would resign in protest.
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) February 11, 2020
A week after Senate Republicans end his show trial for abuse of power Trump interferes in the sentencing of his criminal associate and the Justice Department does his bidding.
Bill Barr's naked corruption is getting worse by the day and it's going to do lasting damage. https://t.co/v7hfwrgwFB
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) February 11, 2020
There can be reasonable discussions to be had about whether sentencing filing against Roger Stone was too harsh.
The fact that this is happening after Trump angrily rants at 1:30am on Twitter is not a coincidence though.
Bill Barr is a GOP operative.https://t.co/p7rN2gD5bN
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) February 11, 2020
Mueller should have never resigned. https://t.co/3TDkJ9LFxW
— Jeff Hauser (@jeffhauser) February 11, 2020
I’d expect the U.S. attorney and the line prosecutors who recommended a harsh sentence for Roger Stone to hold the line and resist interference in their independent judgment.
If they are overruled, they should resign. If they don’t, then DOJ is beyond hope. Impeach William Barr.
— Cristian Farias (@cristianafarias) February 11, 2020
Instead of jail time, maybe Roger Stone will instead receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom https://t.co/GEhPyr3r7j
— Aki Peritz (@AkiPeritz) February 11, 2020
Bill Barr is eviscerating the rule of law in this country and I hope someone in Congress has the energy left to raise hell about it https://t.co/BZdOy4e6fS
— Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) February 11, 2020
Seems pretty unprecedented to have the DOJ meddle like this so publicly in the sentencing of a convicted defendant. Keep in mind some of the prosecutors on the Stone case were involved in the Mueller investigation and well we know how Barr feels about that entire investigation.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) February 11, 2020