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Trump thanks Justice Dept. for intervening in his friend Stone's case

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 02:00s - Published
Trump thanks Justice Dept. for intervening in his friend Stone's case

Trump thanks Justice Dept. for intervening in his friend Stone's case

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to say whether he is considering pardoning longtime adviser Roger Stone, who was found guilty last year of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I want to thank the Justice Department." U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday (February 12) thanked the Justice Department for intervening on the side of Trump's convicted friend and adviser Roger Stone.

Prosecutors this week recommended Stone get up to nine years in prison.

But Trump on Tuesday publicly complained about that possible punishment, calling it "a horrible and very unfair situation." That tweet drew criticism that Trump was meddling in a criminal matter, criticism Trump rejected on Wednesday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXCHANGE BETWEEN REPORTER AND U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Reporter: "Isn't your tweet political interference?" Trump: "No, not at all.

He was treated very badly.

Nine years, recommended.

[FLASH] Roger Stone, for doing, nobody even knows what he did." Stone was convicted in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering, charges stemming from a special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

After Trump's Tuesday tweet, the Justice Department reversed course, overruling its own lawyers, and withdrawing the sentencing recommendation.

That move prompted four of the attorneys who prosecuted Stone to resign from the case.

One quit the department, and three were re-assigned.

The sentencing fiasco has brought renewed allegations that Trump has politicized the Justice Department, and new scrutiny of Trump's appointed Attorney General, William Barr.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. NOMINEE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR (JANUARY 15, 2019): "Am not going to do anything that I think is wrong, and I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong." At his confirmation hearings last year Barr insisted he would not be bullied by the White House and would protect the independence of the Justice Department.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. NOMINEE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR, SAYING (JANUARY 15, 2019): "I feel that I'm in a position in life where I can provide the leadership necessary to protect the independence and the reputation of the department and serve in this administration." But Democrats have since accused Barr of acting as a pawn of the president.

Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said he will investigate the Stone sentencing reversal.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would ask the D-O-J's internal watchdog to launch a probe.

The judge overseeing Stone's case on Wednesday rejected his motion for a new trial.

He is set to be sentenced next week.

Trump on Wednesday declined to say if he would pardon his friend.

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Tweets about this


Stewart Hansen Thanks Mitch! McConnell: Trump 'certainly within his authority' to fire IGs https://t.co/81lXylnTRY 2 days ago


sprizz324 @SassyKadiK Just like Hillarygate that,thanks to Barr has finally been settled. https://t.co/sim8rSajUl 4 days ago


Trump displaced 1000s immigrant kids😡 RT @Wampus67: Well, @realDonaldTrump it is good to be King! Thanks @GOP, you useless little traitors, allowing this power grab that vomits… 5 days ago


kathy279 @brithume @AlanDersh Really! And what are you going to do about it. Thanks heaven there is something called Separat… https://t.co/kDcbgEQrc5 1 week ago


YellowDog64 @AmericanMystic Mr Mowatt-Larssen, I’ve been alarmed by the gradual but relentless way that the Trump admin has inc… https://t.co/3Xvcjb7QAp 1 week ago


nikita RT @MarchandMusic: @davidaxelrod @RepSwalwell Billie Barr @TheJustice Dept has destroyed the justice system in America. There is no justic… 1 week ago

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