Update, Tuesday afternoon: Not long after the president’s late-night Twitter activity, the DOJ slammed its own prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation in the Roger Stone case.
The DOJ is changing its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, according to a Senior DOJ official.
“The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate," the source said, adding the DOJ will clarify its position on sentencing later today
— Jake Gibson (@JakeBGibson) February 11, 2020
Prosecutors said Roger Stone lied, obstructed, and witness tampered to protect Donald Trump and a jury of Stone’s peers found him guilty on all criminal counts. Prosecutors took into account that criminal conduct plus Stone’s pre-trial conduct and added that up to a rather jarring recommendation: seven to nine years in the slammer.
There’s virtually no way Stone will get a sentence that harsh, but that’s not important right now.
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
“This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” Trump tweeted after 1 a.m. on Tuesday. “The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!
The president does have a pardon formula (see: “unfair”), and this fits the bill.
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
“He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona. He’s very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration. He is loved in Arizona. I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly.”
“So I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history, and to honor a truly legendary boxing champion, legendary athlete, and a person that, when people got to know him, they really liked him and they really thought he was treated unfairly as a human being and unfairly as a champion.”
“[B]ut for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.”
When considering out loud a pardon of Martha Stewart, Trump said the same thing.
“I think to a certain extent Martha Stewart was harshly and unfairly treated,” he said. “And she used to be my biggest fan in the world … before I became a politician. But that’s OK, I don’t view it that way.”
When Trump floated a Rod Blagojevich pardon in the past he said, “Eighteen years in jail for being stupid and saying things that every other politician, you know, that many other politicians say.” In other words, he’s being treated unfairly.
Blagojevich recently penned an op-ed that was seen as an obvious play for a pardon.
Trump’s similar comments about Paul Manafort’s “unfair” prison sentence led people to believe that maybe a pardon was in the offing there, too. That has not come to pass. For a while, the situation was complicated by state charges, but those are out of the way and the path to a pardon is currently clear.
People, regardless of their politics, unanimously interpreted Trump’s Stone tweet as a telegraphing of a pardon.
Stone is being prosecuted by the impeached Trump's own DOJ w/ AG Barr; it would be illegal for a pardon to be exchanged for a potential cooperating defendant's silence/non-cooperation; that would be called a corrupt quid pro quo/bribe; btw, Stone lied about rigging '16 election https://t.co/CCY5cETtxS
— Richard Signorelli (@richsignorelli) February 11, 2020
Can there be any doubt that a pardon is in the offing? Sheriff Joe was facing only a max of 6 months. Prosecutors are recommending (but won't get) 7 to 9 years for Stone, chiefly due to his outlandish threats to @CredicoRandy https://t.co/k4n5Qrmx7f https://t.co/CUlsJbkCAi
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) February 11, 2020
UPDATE: Trump hints he will pardon Roger Stone https://t.co/7xUF1pD5Me
— Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) February 11, 2020
The issue is not will Trump pardon Roger Stone – he will. It's why does Trump surround himself with so many criminals: Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and others. We know the answer: Criminals like to hang out with criminals. It's that simple
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) February 11, 2020
— Pastor Mark Burns (@pastormarkburns) February 11, 2020
BREAKING: Trump tweet suggests he may pardon Roger Stone who was previously found guilty of charges including obstruction, lying to Congress, witness tampering, and the attempted murder of Roger Rabbit. pic.twitter.com/bytf9mR1FR
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) February 11, 2020
It’s 1AM. Trump is suggesting that he plans to pardon Roger Stone. https://t.co/w6tV4kzHxn
— Cyrus Toulabi (@CyrusToulabi) February 11, 2020
The Roger Stone pardon is coming!
Thank God we have a President who doesn’t cave to the media! https://t.co/7zQAXwrakq
— SETH WEATHERS (@sethweathers) February 11, 2020
Pardon Roger Stone.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) February 11, 2020
….A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
It should be noted that Randy Credico, the witness Stone tampered with, recently wrote a letter to the judge asking that Stone get no prison time at all. He told Judge Amy Berman Jackson that he didn’t really believe Stone would ever harm him or his dog Bianca.
Stone is “juvenile,” “insecure,” and a conspiracy theorist, but not someone who should do hard time, Credico argued.
“Roger Stone certainly rubs a lot of people the wrong way, particularly those on the receiving end of his wee hours lowbrow character attacks. Stone enjoys playing adolescent mind games and pulling off juvenile stunts, gags and pranks. He shamelessly invents and promotes outlandish and invidious conspiracy tales,” Credico continued. “But the bottom line is Mr. Stone, at his core, is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.”
Credico wrote that prison is “no remedy” for the above.
[Image via Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images]