Feb 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge sets "scheduling" conference call ahead of Roger Stone sentencing

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has requested a Feb. 18 "scheduling" conference call in the Roger Stone case, two days before the former Trump associate is set to be sentenced.

Why it matters: Stone's defense team on Friday filed a sealed motion for a new trial — the second time they've done so — amid allegations of juror bias and a growing controversy over Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the case.

Background: Stone was charged and convicted for covering up his attempts to find out more about WikiLeaks' release of damaging emails about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.

  • Career prosecutors had recommended that Stone be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison for crimes that include lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
  • A day after the sentencing memo was filed, the Justice Department overruled the recommendation in an astonishing move that has prompted allegations of political interference, especially in light of Trump's tweets about the case.
  • All four career prosecutors withdrew from the case. Barr claims that the Justice Department planned to intervene prior to Trump tweeting that the sentencing recommendation was a "miscarriage of justice," and publicly advised the president to stop tweeting in an interview last week.

Go deeper: Over 1,100 former DOJ officials call for Barr's resignation

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Roger Stone sentenced to more than 3 years in prison

Roger Stone arriving for his sentencing hearing. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes that include obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Why it matters: Stone is the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced for crimes unearthed by former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. His case has been at the heart of ongoing tensions between President Trump and his Justice Department.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judges group calls emergency meeting on Roger Stone case intervention

President Trump with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House last July. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Judges Association told USA Today the independent group called an emergency meeting Tuesday to address "growing concerns" about the Department of Justice, Attorney General Bill Barr, President Trump and the intervention of "politically sensitive cases."

Why it matters: This is another example of the scrutiny Barr is facing from not only Democrats but also members of the legal community — from both sides of the political aisle — following his intervention in the sentencing of President Trump's associate Roger Stone last week.

GOP congressional leaders issue statement defending Bill Barr

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Tuesday in support of Attorney General William Barr.

Why it matters: More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials have called on Barr to resign for his role in politically sensitive investigations, after he intervened in the case of Trump associate Roger Stone.