Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ The Department of Justice’s watchdog is investigating the handling of the Roger Stone case

The Department of Justice’s watchdog is investigating the handling of the Roger Stone case

Stephanie Logan, a spokeswoman for Inspector General Michael Horowitz, declined to confirm or provide details on the scope of the investigation, which was first reported by NBC News.

“Our general practice is not to confirm or deny the existence of any ongoing investigation,” Logan said.

Barr’s decision to override the prosecutors who persuaded a jury to convict Stone of seven crimes drew high prejudice from Democrats and many members of the legal community who accused the attorney general of doing a political service to a longtime ally of the president.

Barr insisted that he only went in to ensure that the prosecution̵

7;s recommendation in the case was reasonable in the light of the facts. He said the seven- to nine-year proposal was overtly excessive in the circumstances and given the judge’s ultimate decision to sentence Stone to three years and four months – about half of what prosecutors originally recommended.

The attorney general acknowledged that the setting was changed after Trump tweeted his condemnation of the original proposal, but Barr said he had asked colleagues to review the court ruling before Trump weighed in.

Stone had served a few days in home jail and was set to head to federal jail in July when Trump reversed the rest of his sentence.

The case against Stone claimed he sought to thwart the congressional and Justice Department’s investigation into alleged contacts between Trump’s political supporters and WikiLeaks related to the release of emails during the 2016 campaign. These emails were considered harmful to Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

At the time of the commute in July, Trump and Stone promised that his informal political adviser would continue with his appeals. The president said Stone had a high chance of being acquitted, but the conservative writer and activist dropped his appeal last month, saying the odds of success were too far-fetched.

Barr’s rare intervention led to all four prosecutors assigned to the Stones case withdrawing in protest, one of which completely stopped the government.

One of the prosecutors who remained in government but dropped out of the case, Aaron Zelinsky, testified before the House Judiciary Committee in June that prior to the initial sentencing recommendation, the prosecutors came under strong political pressure to soften their recommendation to Stone. Zelinsky said the original sentencing recommendation closely followed the Justice Department’s policy applied in thousands of cases each year.

Barr’s action in the case prompted top House Democrats and at least one influential Republican senator, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, to ask Horowitz to investigate the episode.

In the past, Horowitz has written to members of Congress to confirm that he has launched investigations into high-profile cases in which lawmakers demanded a review. It was not immediately clear why Horowitz was closer to investigating the Stone verdict.

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

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