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Politics Harris demands Barr testify over Roger Stone sentence recommendation

05:05  12 february  2020
05:05  12 february  2020 Source:   thehill.com

AP source: Feds back away from Stone sentencing proposal

  AP source: Feds back away from Stone sentencing proposal The Department of Justice is backing away from its sentencing recommendation of between seven to nine years in prison for Trump confidant Roger Stone, a department official told the AP. The official says there had been no contact with the White House over the decision, though President Donald Trump tweeted early Tuesday calling it "a very horrible and unfair situation" after the recommendation was made in a court filing Monday evening.

Prosecutors will issue a revised sentencing recommendation later that day, he added. Wow, Mueller prosecutor Zelinsky withdraws from the Stone case We are officially a f*cking banana republic!"The statement came hours after President Trump tweeted of the sentence prosecutors recommended

Prosecutors on Monday recommended that Stone face seven to nine years in prison, a reflection, they said The Justice Department soon backed off the sentencing recommendation , deeming Some Democrats are renewing calls for Attorney General William Barr to testify about Trump's involvement

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is demanding that Attorney General William Barr testify publicly over the Justice Department's decision to reduce the recommended sentence for Trump associate Roger Stone.

Kamala Harris talking on a cell phone: Harris demands Barr testify over Roger Stone sentence recommendation© Greg Nash Harris demands Barr testify over Roger Stone sentence recommendation

Harris is asking Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to call Barr before the panel, which she is also a member of.

"I request that you immediately schedule a hearing for Attorney General William Barr to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee so that the committee and the American people can understand the Justice Department's decision to overrule its career prosecutors in this case," Harris wrote in a letter to Graham.

Schumer requests DOJ watchdog probe Roger Stone sentencing recommendation

  Schumer requests DOJ watchdog probe Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is requesting the Justice Department's top watchdog investigate the decision to request Roger Stone be given a lesser sentence. "The DOJ Inspector General must open an investigation immediately. I will be sending a formal request to the IG shortly," Schumer tweeted. A spokesman said they are aiming to send a formal request to the Justice Department by the end of Tuesday. Schumer's demand for an"The DOJ Inspector General must open an investigation immediately. I will be sending a formal request to the IG shortly," Schumer tweeted.

Both the sentencing recommendation and the president’s tweet took officials at Justice Department headquarters by surprise, according to a department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Stone case was ongoing. The recommendation was higher than what the United States

Prosecutors withdraw from Roger Stone 's case after senior DOJ officials publicly overruled them to seek a lesser sentence for Stone . The senior official told The Washington Post that the department "was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the Roger Stone case" made on Monday.

The Justice Department on Tuesday asked a federal court to sentence Stone to "far less" than seven to nine months in prison-the timeframe federal prosecutors had recommended on Monday.

"While it remains the position of the United States that a sentence of incarceration is warranted here, the government respectfully submits that the range of 87 to 108 months presented as the applicable advisory Guidelines range would not be appropriate or serve the interests of justice in this case," the department said.

The u-turn has sparked mass outrage among Democrats and lead to all four of the DOJ lawyers central to Stone's prosecution and initial sentencing recommendation to withdraw from the case.

"The Justice Department's decision to overrule its career prosecutors, immediately after President Trump's tweet, calls into question the independence and integrity of our legal system," Harris added in the letter.

Roger Stone backlash: Democrats demand Barr resign, call for investigation, hearings

  Roger Stone backlash: Democrats demand Barr resign, call for investigation, hearings The fallout comes after the DOJ suddenly reversed its recommendation for a 7-9 year sentence for the Trump confidante.Top Democrats are pushing for the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing to review the decision that led to the sudden resignation of all four prosecutors Tuesday from the Stone criminal case. Stone was found guilty in November of all seven counts against him including making false statements, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional probe.

The original sentencing recommendation had justified itself by citing the severity of Stone ’s offenses — including, among other things, the fact that he tried to obstruct an investigation designed to get to the bottom of interference in our election, which “strikes at the very heart of our American democracy.”

20 sentencing to give Stone seven to nine years in prison. In the sentencing memo, the prosecutors make clear that they're recommending such a hefty sentence for relatively benign charges because of Stone 's insistence on speaking out in his defense (though he didn't testify at his trial in November).

Harris is the second member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to request the committee investigate the Justice Department's decision to ask for a lesser sentence.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also sent a letter to Graham on Tuesday requesting an investigation, saying the Justice Department's decision "smacks of dangerous political interference in law enforcement decision-making."

Trump had publicly criticized the initial seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation, calling it "very unfair."

"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 tweeted Tuesday morning.

But Trump said on Tuesday that he did not instruct the Justice Department to change its sentence, but that he could have and that he thought the initial recommendation was "ridiculous."

"I'd be able to do it if I wanted. I have the absolute right to do it. I stay out of things," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

'Complicated things': Trump impeachment lawyer scolds him for tweeting about Roger Stone case .
A Trump impeachment defense lawyer chided the president for tweeting his congratulations to Attorney General William Barr for "taking charge" of the case against his longtime associate Roger Stone. © Provided by Washington ExaminerAttorney Robert Ray, who served on the White House defense team during President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, joined radio show The Cats Roundtable on Sunday and weighed in on Trump's tweet, saying it "complicated things.

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