President Donald Trump lashed out at federal prosecutors who recommended that his oldest political adviser, Roger Stone, serve up to nine years in prison after his conviction in former special counsel Bob Mueller's investigation.
Legal experts said it would be unusual for prosecutors to change their proposed sentence after filing a formal recommendation to the court, especially on a high-profile case like this in which senior Justice Department officials as well as courtroom prosecutors are involved in the decision-making. "The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department", one anonymous source said, according to Fox.
Stone is expected to be sentenced next week after being found guilty of all the charges against him, including the obstruction, five counts of false statements and the falsification of witnesses. It is unclear, however, how much prison time Trump's DoJ will seek for Stone.
"Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!" the president tweeted. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who will sentence Stone on February 20, gave Manafort a three-and-a-half year prison sentence following his plea on two charges - with 13 months of the sentence stemming from Manafort's contact with a potential witness before his trial on lobbying charges.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Tuesday morning and decried the sentencing recommendation as deeply unfair.
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The Justice Department's original memo, which recommended that he be hit with a sentence in line with the advisory guidelines, accused Stone of displaying "contempt for this Court and the rule of law".
On Tuesday the US President weighed in again, tweeting: "The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them". Stone was convicted in November a year ago in the Russian presidential interference in the United States presidential election.
Stone has denied wrongdoing and consistently criticised the case against him as politically motivated.
Witnesses within the case testified that Trump's marketing campaign considered Stone as an "entry level" to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, which was in possession of greater than 19,000 emails hacked from the servers of the Democratic Nationwide Committee and tried to make use of him to get advance phrase about hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton. It is against this backdrop that Stone's crimes - his obstruction, lies and witness tampering - must be judged.
The government said in its memorandum on Monday that Stone merited a tougher sentence because after he was indicted he posted an image of the judge overseeing the case with crosshairs next to her head. In emails and texts, Stone told Credico among other things: "Prepare to die", "You're a rat".
In addition, prosecutors argued that Stone used threats of violence to keep a possible intermediary with WikiLeaks silent, telling comedian and talk show host Randy Credico in writing to "Prepare to die", prosecutors said.
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Previously, he was a neo-con hero to I-want-more-war Republicans, and a unsafe right-wing loon to Democrats. The Senate may resolve the issue of whether to call witnesses in a vote on Friday or Saturday.