The interventions of the American president in this file had started a sharp controversy in the United States. Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s former adviser and friend, was sentenced on Thursday to three years and four months in prison.
The Department of Justice, by denying itself to act on presidential instruction, had defied its prosecutors who had initially demanded heavier sentences against Roger Stone, convicted in November of having lied in Congress.
His recommendations for a sentence of between three and four years were well followed by federal judge Amy Jackson. “He has not been prosecuted, as some have denounced, for defending the president. He was prosecuted for covering the president, “she said after the sentencing, welcoming that” the truth exists and still matters. “
Donald Trump reacted Thursday, saying that his friend Roger Stone, 67, had “a good chance of being cleared.” He added that he would later consider pardoning his former collaborator. “I will make a decision at some point,” said the president, who recently stepped up public statements on the case, criticizing the sentence initially recommended by prosecutors.
Last week, federal prosecutors investigating the case had demanded between 7 and 9 years in prison against Roger Stone. But Donald Trump had immediately denounced a “miscarriage of justice”, already leaving doubt as to a presidential amnesty for this 67-year-old consultant, known for his flamboyant style and his Richard Nixon tattoo on the back.
The following day, the Ministry of Justice had in turn deemed the recommendation “excessive” and suggested a sentence of between three and four years of detention. Disowned by their hierarchy, the four federal prosecutors had withdrawn from the case.
The president’s reaction was swift: “Congratulations to the Minister of Justice Bill Barr for taking charge of a file completely out of control!” He had jubilantly. The Attorney General of the United States may have assured that the presidential comments had had no impact on the decision of his services, but he found himself under the fire of critics.
” Preferential treatment “
In addition to the Democratic opposition, more than 2,200 former Justice Department officials called on him to resign, accusing him in an open letter of having granted “special treatment” to Roger Stone and of being “under orders Of the president “.
On the defensive, Bill Barr hammered that Donald Trump, of which he is one of the strongest defenders, had not asked him to intervene. In a rare dissonant note, however, he asked the New York billionaire to avoid tweeting about court records, saying it made his job “impossible”.
Penalty lost, the White House assuring that the president has the right “to comment on criminal cases” and that this is not “interference”. Donald Trump had also returned to the charge by retweeting numerous comments relating to the troubles of others close to him with the law or the origin of the Russian investigation, denouncing a “very unfair” trial for Roger Stone.
Thursday morning, he tweeted again about the case, two hours before the sentence was known, to be moved by a lack of “fairness”. Two days earlier, the minister had, according to anonymous sources quoted by numerous American media, informed the entourage of the president that he could leave his post if these tweets were to continue. The ministry’s spokesperson, however, brushed off unfounded “rumors”.
Roger Stone, Self-proclaimed “Pummel Expert”, was found guilty of pressuring witnesses and lying to Congress about his contacts with the organization WikiLeaks about campaign emails hacked into Democrats 2016 presidential election.
Claiming his innocence, he maintains that members of the jury were “biased”. He was not immediately incarcerated on Thursday after serving his sentence in Washington. During his trial, he notably stood out by posting on Instagram a photo of judge Amy Jackson next to a gun sight. She had forbidden him to comment on his file publicly.