Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has rebuked Trump's reaction to the sentence recommendations for his former campaign adviser Roger Stone, arguing that his tweets amounted to "political interference" in the high-profile case.
By tweet @realDonaldTrump engaged in political interference in the sentencing of Roger Stone. It is outrageous that DOJ has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing its recommendation. Stepping down of prosecutors should be commended & actions of DOJ should be investigated.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 12, 2020
The speaker also praised the actions of the four prosecutors working on the case who resigned following Trump's tweets, suggesting that the Department of Justice should be probed after asking for a shorter sentence for Stone in a memo released on 11 February.
Earlier, House Democrat and chief of the Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler accused President Trump and Attorney General William Barr of using their powers to help Roger Stone by overruling the prosecutors' recommendations. Nadler vowed that his committee would get "to the bottom of this".
A President who intervenes in the criminal justice system to help his allies, while punishing people like Lt. Col. Vindman for telling the truth, represents a real danger and the Committee will get to the bottom of this. 2/2— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) February 11, 2020
Previously, Trump slammed the case and the recommended sentence for Stone as a "miscarriage of justice" and suggested that the four prosecutors "cut and ran after being exposed" for proposing a "ridiculous" prison term for the political consultant. Following his tweets, the US DoJ recommended reducing Stone’s prison sentence, but noted that the court should have the final say in the story.
Multiple media outlets reported at the time, citing anonymous sources, that the Department of Justice was "shocked by [… the] extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate" punishment for Stone. At the same time, sources insisted that the DoJ's decision to ask for a shorter term was not linked to Trump's tweets or any demands. POTUS himself also dismissed allegations that he had pressured the department in an attempt to reduce the political consultant's prison sentence, but added that he could certainly have done so if he had wanted to.
Roger Stone, a veteran political consultant who worked for Trump's campaign in 2016, was found guilty on seven counts of witness tampering, lying to Congress, and obstructing the House probe into an alleged conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. The conspiracy allegations were also investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who failed to find any proof substantiating the claims, which were originally brought forward by Democrats.