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Tue Feb 11, 2020, 04:38 PM

Prosecutors quit amid escalating Justice Dept. fight over Roger Stone's prison ter

Source: Washington Post

National Security

Prosecutors quit amid escalating Justice Dept. fight over Roger Stone’s prison term

By Matt Zapotosky, Devlin Barrett, Ann E. Marimow and Spencer S. Hsu
Feb. 11, 2020 at 4:17 p.m. EST

Two career prosecutors who handled the case against Roger Stone, a confidant of President Trump, resigned their posts Tuesday after the Justice Department signaled it planned to reduce their sentencing recommendation for the commander-in-chief’s friend.

Jonathan Kravis, one of the prosecutors, wrote in a court filing he had resigned as an assistant U.S. attorney, leaving government entirely. Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, a former member of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team, said he was formally quitting his special assignment to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute Stone, though a spokeswoman said he will remain an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore. Neither provided a reason for their decisions.

The resignations come just hours after a senior Justice Department official told reporters that the agency’s leadership had been “shocked” by the seven-to-nine-year penalty prosecutors, including Zelinsky, asked a judge to impose on Stone and intended to ask for a lesser penalty.

{snip}

Mary McCord, a former prosecutor and acting assistant attorney general for the department’s National Security Division, said decisions related to the sentencing of such high-profile political figures would not be made without initial consultation between a U.S. attorney’s office and Justice Department headquarters, and that it was is hard to imagine the department was truly taken aback.

“There is no way you can come away from this with anything other than an impression that Justice is taking its orders from the president and pandering to the president,” said McCord, who was also chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington. “This is causing lasting and long term damage to the department’s reputation and credibility”

{snip}

Matt Zapotosky covers the Justice Department for The Washington Post's national security team. He has previously worked covering the federal courthouse in Alexandria and local law enforcement in Prince George's County and Southern Maryland. Follow https://twitter.com/mattzap

Devlin Barrett writes about the FBI and the Justice Department. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for National Reporting, for coverage of Russian interference in the U.S. election. In 2017 he was a co-finalist for both the Pulitzer for Feature Writing and the Pulitzer for International Reporting. Follow https://twitter.com/DevlinBarrett

Ann Marimow covers legal affairs for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2005 and has covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. Follow https://twitter.com/amarimow

Spencer S. Hsu is an investigative reporter, two-time Pulitzer finalist and national Emmy Award nominee. Hsu has covered homeland security, immigration, Virginia politics and Congress. Follow https://twitter.com/hsu_spencer

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/justice-dept-to-reduce-sentencing-recommendation-for-trump-associate-roger-stone-official-says-after-president-calls-it-unfair/2020/02/11/ad81fd36-4cf0-11ea-bf44-f5043eb3918a_story.html



There's a thread in GD too.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 04:45 PM

1. Different rules for different folks and it all depends who you know in high places..............




Prosecutors resign from Roger Stone’s case after DOJ interference in sentencing

Aaron Zelinsky and Jonathan Kravis withdrew from the case Tuesday.

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/11/21133622/roger-stone-prosecutor-aaron-zelinsky-resigns


By Andrew Prokopandrew@vox.com Feb 11, 2020, 4:10pm EST






...............................A senior Justice Department source told the Washington Post Tuesday that “the Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate” — and that they’d “clarify” their position “later today.” That source claimed they made this decision to do so before Trump posted his tweet (a claim that’s been greeted with much skepticism).

Such interference in a sentencing recommendation made by career prosecutors is highly unusual. And what happened next was even more unusual — Zelinsky informed the court he was withdrawing from Stone’s case just days before sentencing and resigning his special posting with the DC US Attorney’s Office. Kravis then said he too was resigning.

Yet it is not the first example of a curious change in a sentencing recommendation for a close Trump ally. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is also awaiting sentencing for his guilty plea in connection with the Mueller probe — and, after agreeing to cooperate with the government, apparently reneged on that commitment.


So prosecutors recommended in January that Flynn be sentenced “within” the range of zero to six months of incarceration — but, a few weeks later, added that they “do not oppose” a “sentence of probation” instead.............

......................All of this raises yet more questions about what, exactly, is going on at the Justice Department under Attorney General Bill Barr — and whether friends (or enemies) of the president now get different rules applied to them............

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 04:48 PM

2. Integrity.


Looks like everyone associated with the DOJ who has it is leaving.

The rebuilding of the U.S. government after Trump is out will be a huge and lengthy project.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 04:55 PM

3. Now a THIRD prosecutor has resigned from the case

I think they said there are only 4 prosecutors on the case

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:11 PM

8. Thanks. Will update.

Time stamp on WaPo article now 4:52. Still at two prosecutors having resigned.

Walter Shaub Retweeted

A THIRD Stone prosecutor has now dropped out of the case: Adam Jed.


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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 04:57 PM

4. Sadly, the departure of prosecutors with integrity won't hurt tRump's feelings at all

He'll simply replace them with incompetent political yes-men who will do whatever he wants. This is just another roadblock out of tRump's way on his path to redesigning America to suit his purposes.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:01 PM

5. We are a 3rd world country now.

I am furious!!!!! This is officially a dictatorship.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:03 PM

6. Sadly, Trump's cult will cheer this as an example of "draining the swamp."

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:15 PM

10. Screw them. Send them to Russia

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:06 PM

7. Joyce Alene....There is a 4-alarm fire at Justice.

I trust her word.


Joyce Alene
@JoyceWhiteVance
·
51m
This, the 2nd withdrawal notice from a career prosecutor, speaks loudly to those of us who used to work at DOJ. There is a 4-alarm fire at Justice.



?s=20

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:13 PM

9. "Neither provided a reason for their decisions." Well, that's pretty gutless. Seriously?

Call it like it is. I won't tolerate interference from the Office of the President and Bill the Fixer Barr interfering in our case of the last 3 years, which resulted in a conviction on multiple counts.

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Response to Evolve Dammit (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:31 PM

11. I disagree. The most important advice you'll get from a lawyer is to

shut up.

I don't mean you, I mean anyone who doesn't want his words to come back and bite him.

Silence is golden. Or, as they say in Maryland:



Yeah, sort of controversial.

Seal of Maryland

{snip}

The state motto, Fatti maschii, parole femine (pronounced [ˈfatti ˈmaski: paˈrɔle ˈfɛmine]), has its origin in the archaic Italian and translates as "Manly deeds, womanly words", or more generally, "Strong deeds, gentle words", which is the translation the government of Maryland cites officially. Maryland is the only state with a motto in Italian. The saying is the motto of the Calvert family (the Barons Baltimore), who first founded the Colony of Maryland. George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore (1579-1632), made it his family's motto in 1622 and it appears that the saying was well known in 17th-century England.

Maybe "speak softly and carry a big stick" works.

Thanks for writing.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 06:50 PM

13. We can ill-afford for career people to couch their words and offer no condemnation of a takeover.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:51 PM

12. All four prosecutors working on the Roger Stone case have now quit.

Walter Shaub Retweeted

All four prosecutors working on the Roger Stone case have now quit. A resounding rejection of DOJ corruption.


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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 07:19 PM

14. Who's to say that the judge might still throw the book at Stone and give him a larger sentence?

Obstruction of justice pisses off judges unless They are a brought and paid for MF45 toady.

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