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Convicted Trump ally Stone loses bid to delay sentencing

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:24s - Published
Convicted Trump ally Stone loses bid to delay sentencing

Convicted Trump ally Stone loses bid to delay sentencing

A federal judge denied a bid by longtime Donald Trump friend Roger Stone to delay his sentencing, despite furious tweets by the president defending the political operative and self-proclaimed "dirty trickster." This report produced by Zachary Goelman.


Convicted Trump ally Stone loses bid to delay sentencing

Roger Stone, the criminally-convicted long-time friend of President Donald Trump, lost his bid to delay his sentencing on Tuesday (February 18).

The federal judge overseeing the trial said Stone is set to be sentenced Thursday this week.

That sentencing has sparked tumult inside the Department of Justice, and renewed criticism that Trump is meddling in a criminal case on behalf of a friend.

Roger Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering over his contacts with WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors recommended Stone face up to nine years in jail.

But Trump publicly called that "unfair," and the Department of Justice promptly withdrew the recommendation.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I want to thank the Justice Department for seeing this, this horrible thing [FLASH] They saw the horribleness of a nine-year sentence for doing nothing." That sent shock waves through Washington... (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "This is an abuse of power that the president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement." ... and prompted all four prosecutors to quit the case, and one to quit the department.

The White House said Trump did not discuss Stone's case with Attorney General Bill Barr.

But the sentencing fiasco landed Barr in the hot seat.

In an interview, he said he would not be bullied, but that the president's tweets made it impossible for him to do his job.

In a letter published Monday, more than two thousand former Justice Department officials criticized Barr and said his actions "require Mr. Barr to resign." And Trump continued to fire off attacks in the Stone case, targeting the federal judge, the prosecutors, and members of the jury.

On Tuesday, Trump went further, calling for all criminal charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference to be dropped.

He tweeted, "Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out." Mueller's investigation resulted in criminal charges against at least five Trump associates, none of which have been challenged as fraudulent.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is serving 81 months for tax fraud, conspiracy and witness tampering.

Former campaign official Rick Gates pleaded guilty to financial crimes and violating lobbying laws.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is awaiting sentencing for lying to investigators and concealing his work on behalf of foreign governments.

Asked about Trump's tweets on Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told Fox News, "He's frustrated, obviously, and who knows what he'll end up doing." Trump last week declined to say whether he planned to pardon Roger Stone.

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