President Donald Trump blasted the Justice Department’s recommendation that GOP operative Roger Stone serve up to nine years in prison, and he indicated Tuesday that a pardon could be in the offing for his longtime associate.
“Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump wrote on Twitter, citing a Daily Caller News Foundation report on prosecutors’ prison recommendation.
“This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” he 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! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
Prosecutors recommended in a court filing Monday that Stone serve between 87 months and 108 months on charges that he made false statements and committed witness tampering in relation to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation.
A Washington, D.C., jury convicted the 67-year-old Stone on Nov. 15, 2019. He will be sentenced on Feb. 20.
Stone was accused of lying to the House panel when he denied speaking with associates or anyone on the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks. House Democrats and the special counsel’s office initially investigated whether Stone worked with WikiLeaks or Russia to obtain and release Democrats’ emails during the 2016 campaign.
The special counsel ultimately found that nobody associated with Trump was involved in hacking or releasing the emails.
Though the special counsel found no evidence that Stone was involved in election meddling, prosecutors still cited the threat of foreign interference in their argument defending a hefty prison term for Stone.
They wrote that “[f]oreign election interference is the ‘most deadly adversar[y] of republican government.’”
Prosecutors also alleged that Stone threatened a longtime associate, Randy Credico, in order to convince him to avoid testifying to the House intelligence panel about their interest in WikiLeaks.
Stone sent Credico a text message in April 2018 that read: “Prepare to die cocksucker.”
Credico testified that he did not feel directly threatened by Stone. He also submitted a letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Jan. 20 asking that she let Stone off without jail time.
Prosecutors dismissed Credico’s plea in their filing and said that Stone’s threat justified more jail time.
“Stone may point to the letter submitted by Credico and argue that he did not have a serious plan to harm Credico or that Credico did not seriously believe that Stone would follow through on his threats. But Credico testified that Stone’s threats concerned him because he was worried that Stone’s words, if repeated in public, might make ‘other people get ideas,’” prosecutors argued.
“In any event, it is the threat itself, not the likelihood of carrying out the threat, that triggers the enhancement,” they added.
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