Justice Dept. to Seek Shorter Sentence for Roger Stone, Overruling Its Prosecutors
Defense legal professionals characterised the prosecutors arguments as vastly overblown. Mr. Stone not solely by no means supposed to hurt the witness, they stated, he by no means created any actual impediment for investigators. While the witness, a New York radio host named Randy Credico, refused to testify earlier than the House Intelligence Committee, they identified, he was later repeatedly interviewed by the F.B.I., appeared earlier than the federal grand jury and testified in opposition to Mr. Stone throughout his trial.
In a letter asking Judge Jackson to spare Mr. Stone a jail time period, Mr. Credico stated that whereas he stood by his testimony, he by no means believed Mr. Stone would perform his menace to injure him or his beloved canine. “I chalked up his bellicose tirades to ‘Stone being Stone.’ All bark and no bite,” Mr. Credico wrote.
Mr. Stone’s protection crew additionally stated that his violations of Judge Jackson’s gag orders mustn’t rely in opposition to him as a result of the prison proceedings had exacerbated his “longstanding battle with anxiety” and he has corrected that drawback by remedy.
The resolution to search a extra lenient punishment for Mr. Stone got here lower than two weeks after prosecutors backed off on their sentencing advice for Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former nationwide safety adviser who pleaded responsible to mendacity to investigators within the Russia inquiry. Prosecutors had initially sought up to six months in jail, then stated they might not oppose probation as an alternative of jail time.
One of the prosecutors within the Flynn case, Brandon L. Van Grack — who had taken on the case below Robert S. Mueller III, the particular counsel, and continued to work on it after he left that workplace to rejoin the Justice Department’s nationwide safety division — didn’t signal the memo in assist of probation, although he had signed earlier briefs within the case.
The intervention by senior Justice Department officers in Mr. Stone’s case serves as the primary massive take a look at for Timothy Shea, who final Monday grew to become the interim head of the United States legal professional’s workplace in Washington, which is overseeing a few of the division’s most politically fraught instances.
Mr. Shea, a longtime trusted adviser to Attorney General William P. Barr and former senior counselor in Mr. Barr’s workplace, now oversees investigations into two former legislation enforcement officers whom Mr. Trump has lengthy perceived as political enemies: the previous F.B.I. director James B. Comey, who is claimed to be the main focus of investigators in an uncommon inquiry into years-old leaks, and his former deputy Andrew G. McCabe, who faces allegations that he misled investigators in an administrative inquiry. That case has languished.
Adam Goldman contributed reporting.