When U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson entered her courtroom Thursday to sentence Roger Stone, she was greeted by a Justice Department prosecutor who had not said a word in the trial of President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and confidant.
Hanging over the morning’s hearing was the tumult of the previous week, a stretch that saw Justice Department leaders intervene in Stone’s case to suggest a more lenient sentence than the more than seven-year prison term career prosecutors originally recommended. The extraordinary move—coming just hours after Trump tweeted his objections to the original recommendation—undercut the career prosecutors, prompting all four of them to withdraw from the Stone’s case and one to resign from the Justice Department entirely.
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