Roger Stone was convicted by a jury for lying and witness tampering, so the Justice Department recommended to the judge in the case that he be sentenced with seven to nine years in prison. President Donald Trump tweeted his demand that Stone get out of jail with no time or accountability, despite a guilty verdict from a jury. After that, the Department of Justice decided to change its sentencing recommendation. The prosecutor handling the case has since resigned from handling the Stone affair, though it is unclear if he also quit the DOJ.
John Dean, former White House Counsel under President Richard Nixon, explained that Trump's tweet obviously had a huge influence.
"And I must say, to put the cards on the table, Roger Stone is somebody I hold in minimum high esteem to put it nicely," Dean said. "In fact, I can't even say on television my assessment of him, so I was not unhappy to see him get seven to nine."
He noted that he did think it was too aggressive, comparing it to the Watergate precedent.
"The most egregious and least cooperative and most belligerent figure was Gordon Liddy, who is someone that Stone admires greatly," Dean recalled. "He only got four years in prison, but his sentence was commuted by Jimmy Carter when it got to that point. The chief of staff Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, his top domestic adviser, all committed perjury in front of Congress and obstructed justice. They only got 18 months so seven to nine years was very hefty."
He went on to say that it's clear Bill Barr is having a huge influence, even though the judge in the case is the one who will get the final decision. What she will likely look at is the probation report, Dean said.
Stone had previously attacked the judge, posting a photo of her in the crosshairs of a firearm sight.
See Dean's full remarks below: