Roger Stone Sentencing Gets Suddenly Interesting
After the DOJ reversed course on the sentencing recommendation, the prosecuting US Attorney notified the court of his immediate resignation.
A federal prosecutor in the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s ally Roger Stone dramatically resigned Tuesday shortly after the Department of Justice said it will force prosecutors to cut their recommended prison sentence for Republican political operative.
Aaron Zelinsky’s resignation as a special assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., was announced in a footnote of a court filing notifying a judge that Zelinsky was withdrawing from Stone’s case.
“This Court is advised that the undersigned attorney has resigned effective immediately after this filing as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia,” the filing said.
A spokesman for prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the departure of Zelinsky, who earlier worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
On Monday night, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington told the judge in a filing that Stone should get a prison term of seven to nine years when he is sentenced Feb. 20 for crimes related to lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election and his efforts to get an associate, comedian Randy Credico, to cover for his lies.
Zelinsky was one of four prosecutors who signed that sentencing memorandum.
But Justice Department officials reportedly objected to the very stiff recommended prison term for the 67-year-old Stone, right after it became public, and now plan to recommend a lower sentence later Tuesday in court.
Trump early Tuesday morning blasted the original recommended sentence for Stone.
Trump called the original sentencing suggestion “disgraceful” and also tweeted that “this is a horrible and very unfair situation.”