Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET
The Justice Department plans to revise its recommendations for sentencing in the case of political consultant Roger Stone following a tweet about it by President Trump on Tuesday.
Officials at the Justice Department’s headquarters in Washington were “shocked” when they saw on Monday night that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., had recommended seven to nine years in prison in Stone’s case, a senior Justice Department official said.
Department leadership found the recommendation to be “extreme and excessive and disproportionate to Stone’s offenses,” the official said. DoJ leaders expect a new filing to be submitted to “clarify” the department’s position.
The back and forth over the recommendation for Stone’s sentence follows a post on Twitter by Trump on Tuesday that faulted the recommended sentence.
Officials didn’t make any explicit link between the president’s tweet and the Justice Department’s planned action.
Stone and his camp sought to serve as intermediaries between Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election, though Stone said he did nothing wrong.
He maintained that he had no inside knowledge about the Russian attack on the election or WikiLeaks’ role and that he was only talking up his own importance. Prosecutors, however, charged him with lying to Congress, obstructing its investigation and witness tampering.
Stone was convicted on all seven counts in his trial by a federal jury in November. The judge has scheduled sentencing for next week. Ahead of that, prosecutors and Stone’s defense team filed their respective sentencing memos Monday.
Prosecutors recommended up to nine years, in keeping with federal guidelines. Stone’s attorneys asked for probation.
Presiding Judge Amy Berman Jackson isn’t bound by the recommendations from either side.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.