A group representing career federal prosecutors on Thursday defended the integrity of the trial team whose sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone was overruled by U.S. Justice Department leaders, raising alarms about the politicization of a criminal case involving a longtime friend of President Donald Trump.

In a statement, the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys said the career prosecutors handling Stone’s case in Washington’s federal trial court “properly exercised their discretion” in recommending a prison term of between seven and nine years. Following a series of tweets from Trump, senior DOJ leaders withdrew the court filing and replaced it with one calling the original recommendation “excessive.”

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