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All four prosecutors in Roger Stone case withdraw after DOJ steps in saying proposed sentence too harsh


The prosecutors were seeking a jail term of seven to nine years

Roger Stone and his wife, Nydia Stone (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The team of four federal prosecutors handling the case against President Donald Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone all walked away from the case on Tuesday, after the Department of Justice issued an amended sentencing memorandum saying the seven to nine years of incarceration originally proposed "could be considered excessive and unwarranted."

What are the details?

Two of the four prosecutors who quit the case — Aaron Zelinsky and Adam Jed — served as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

ABC News reported that the other two prosecutors who withdrew were Michael Marando and Jonathan Kravis, who left his job altogether, writing in his notice of withdrawal that he has also "resigned as an Assistant United States Attorney."

None of the former prosecutors on the Stone case have commented on the reasoning behind their decisions, which came the same day the Department of Justice submitted a document to the court saying that the previous sentence suggested by the four prosecutors "does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice's position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter."

The filing further suggested the initial guidance "could be considered excessive and unwarranted," the Washington Post reported.

"While it remains the position of the United States that a sentence of incarceration is warranted here," the memo continued, "the government respectfully submits that the range of 87 to 108 months presented as the applicable advisory Guidelines range would not be appropriate or serve the interests of justice in this case."

On Monday, President Trump tweeted of the Stone case, "This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!"

According to The Hill, President Trump told reporters he did not instruct the DOJ to take action on the case, saying, "I didn't speak to them. I thought the recommendation was ridiculous. I thought the whole prosecution was ridiculous," adding, "I thought it was an insult to our country."

Anything else?

Roger Stone was found guilty in November on five counts of lying to Congress, one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, and one count of witness tampering, all stemming from Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign participated in some type of Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Mueller ultimately found there was no evidence of collusion.

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