WASHINGTON | Donald Trump was accused Tuesday of violating the principle of separation of powers, after an exceptional intervention of the u.s. department of Justice to soften a prison sentence is needed against Roger Stone, one of his long-time friends.
This interference in the folder of the highest authorities of the ministry has made blow a wind of revolt among the four prosecutors who have taught the case: all have announced sensational withdraw.
Mr Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress in the framework of the investigation on the interference in Russian in the american presidential elections of 2016. His sentence is to be announced on 20 February by a federal judge, after advisory opinion of the prosecutors.
Monday, in their recommendations for sentence, they suggested a sentence of 7 and 9 years imprisonment against Mr. Stone, political consultant 67 years old and fair view of the republican president.
But, in the night of Monday to Tuesday, Donald Trump has responded by denouncing in a tweet that a “very unfair” and a “miscarriage of justice”.
Without the cause and effect relationship is clearly established, the four prosecutors who had requested the original sentences, Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam, Jed, and Michael Marando, were notified Tuesday their withdrawal from the case of Stone in a motion sent to the court.
They have not given any explanation for their decision, but one of them has resigned from his position.
Suspected of having put pressure on prosecutors that are supposed to be independent, Donald Trump has denied any intervention. “I didn’t talk to them”, he responded from the oval Office, adding that he had “not been involved”.
But the recommendations were “ridiculous”, “shameful” and “an insult to our country”, has he hammered.
“Abuse of power”
The opposition democratic party immediately denounced political interference in the judicial case and has even mentioned a possible “abuse of power”.
Confirmation of orders from above, the ministry of Justice has requested in the afternoon of Tuesday a sentence of “much lower” against Mr. Stone, on the pretext that the initial recommendations “would not be suitable, or does not serve the interests of justice”.
In this document, “recommendations of sentence amended and additional government”, the department cited the example of a sentence between 3 and 4 years, “of 37 to 46 months,” a term that, according to him “more suitable to the sentences typically imposed in cases of obstruction”.
“The department of Justice and the minister Bill Barr are willing to disregard the opinion of prosecutors career (…) after a tweet from midnight of the president attacking the length of term of imprisonment proposed,” responded in a press release Adam Schiff, the elected democrat who led the team of prosecutors at the trial in the impeachment of the president Trump the Senate.
The ministry of Justice has yet claimed that this decision had been taken before the tweet from Donald Trump.
The us president has already been accused of obstructing justice, in the framework of the investigation of Russian, including sacking at the beginning of his mandate the director of the FBI James Comey, who had reported on the foreign interference in the election of 2016.
And if, after 22 months of investigation, Robert Mueller had said that they had not found evidence of collusion between Moscow and the campaign team of Donald Trump in 2016, he hadn’t cleared the billionaire republican suspicion of obstructing justice.
In the context of this case, the president has also sacked his minister of Justice of the time, Jeff Sessions, blaming him for not doing enough to protect it.
The appointment of the current minister, Bill Barr, had been seen as the willingness by Donald Trump to put at the head of the Justice someone who would be loyal.
Roger Stone is among the six members of the entourage, the more or less near, of the president to have been charged or convicted in the wake of the investigation Russian.
“There has been so much in recent years that have destroyed the concept of independence of the judiciary and the rule of law”, has lamented on Twitter Tuesday, the former adviser of Barack Obama, David Axelrod. “That said, this one is extraordinary.”