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US Justice Dept initiates inquiry in ease of sentencing of Trump’s long-time friend
Washington [US], September 15 (ANI): The United States Department of Justice inspector general’s office has inquired into the handling of changing sentencing recommendations of Roger Stone, a long time friend of President Donald Trump. Stone was convicted last November of lying to Congress during a probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
The case interested the inspector general after four prosecutors on the case resigned in protest of Attorney General William Barr’s intervention. Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison and Trump later commuted the sentence, according to CNN.
Stone was convicted of seven charges that included lying to Congress, tampering of witness and obstructing the congressional committee proceeding as part of the special counsel Robert Muller’s Russia investigations.
“We welcome the review,” Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said on Monday (local time). However, the impact of the investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz may have as Trump “repeatedly praised” Stone and attacked the investigators in his campaign.
It would take months if not years to produce reports from the Inspector General’s office as its function is “relatively limited to fact-finding and making recommendations”.
According to CNN, prosecutors from the justice department recommended “harsh sentence” for Stone’s convictions. But, Barr stepped in and “toned down” the penalty what the Justice Department had requested.
The four prosecutors on the case resigned before the sentencing and said Barr had undercut the law to protect the President.
According to a Sputnik report, Stone is one of six Trump associates who were convicted following Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was sentenced to 40 months in jail for obstructing the probe and was supposed to report to jail by July 14.
Earlier in February, four federal prosecutors withdrew from Stone’s case after the top Justice Department officials “disavowed and undercut” them by reducing the government’s sentence against him. (ANI)