Federal prosecutors announced on Tuesday that they would reduce a sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone. Prosecutors said that the prison sentence initially recommended for the political strategist and long-time confidant of President Trump was “excessive.”
Stone was initially facing between 87 and 108 months in prison, a sentence more commonly given to those guilty of committing a violent crime. Stone was charged with obstruction of justice.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb Jr. wrote, “The prior filing submitted by the United States on February 10, 2020, does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter.”
“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.”
This week, it was reported that officials in the Justice Department were “shocked” by the initial recommendation by federal prosecutors. Stone supporters speculated the recommendations had been jacked up as a way of punishing the strategist for his outspoken support of the president.
The news comes after President Trump made it known he was unhappy with the recommendations. Taking to Twitter, the president wrote, “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!”
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
While the director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs Kerri Kupec claimed that the decision to reduce the recommendation had been made before the president made the statement, the Daily Caller reports that officials were already aware that “top brass” were unhappy.
Stone was convicted in November last year on an obstruction charge, as well as five false statement charges. The crimes were all connected to communication between him and the House Intelligence Committee throughout the Russia “foreign election interference” investigation.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Stone on February 20.