As the fallout from the controversy surrounding Roger Stone’s prison term continued Tuesday night, President Trump defended his longtime confidant by firing off a barrage of heated tweets attacking the federal judge and prosecutors involved in the case.
Over the course of about two hours, Trump cranked out six blasts about the handling of Stone’s sentencing, including one that targeted US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the case, by name.
He implied that Jackson harbored some broad bias, linking the Stone case to her role in the sentencing of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and her dismissal of a Benghazi-related lawsuit against Hillary Clinton.
“Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? ”Trump wrote , sharing another tweet that named Jackson. “How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking! ”
Jackson oversees D.C. and is scheduled to sentence Stone, convicted in November of lying to Congress and witness tampering, on Feb.
The timing of Tuesday’s online attack prompted many to accuse Trump, who has a long history mounting public crusades against judges and courts over unfavorable rulings, of attempting to intimidate Jackson and secure a more lenient sentence for Stone.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment late Tuesday .
The prosecutors, citing federal sentencing guidelines, said Stone should serve between seven and nine years in federal prison.
In an early morning tweet Tuesday, Trump lambasted the proposed punishment as “a miscarriage of justice!” Hours later, the Justice Department announced it would be revising the recommended prison term – a stunning decision that sparked widespread concern about the president undermining the traditional independence of the agency when it comes to indiv idual prosecutions. (The Justice Department said it did not communicate with the White House about Stone’s case this week and Trump told reporters Tuesday he has “not been involved in it at all,” The Washington Post reported .)
The growing scrutiny over Trump’s perceived impact on the Stone case did little to keep him from weighing in again Tuesday night .
Amid slinging barbs at (Democratic presidential candidates battling it out in the
(New Hampshire primary , Trump was in full attack mode as he (griped) about the original sentencing and demanded to know the identities of the prosecutors behind the recommendation. All four prosecutors withdrew from the case, with one quitting his job, following Tuesday’s events.
“Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) Who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? ”Trump tweeted , referencing former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe that led to Stone’s conviction.
In a later tweet, Trump appeared to suggest that he was considering the possibility of pardons for Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the Mueller investigation.
Many seemed to be most taken aback by Trump’s tweet about Jackson, including Clinton, his Democratic opponent in .
In the tweet, Trump questioned Jackson’s treatment of Clinton. , likely referencing her dismissal in 2018 of a wrongful death claim brought against the former Secretary of State in connection with Benghazi. The suit alleged that Clinton’s use of a private email server caused the deaths of two Americans at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
“Do you realize intimidating judges is the behavior of failed-state fascists?” Clinton Tweet Tuesday in response to Trump.
His frequent references to “Obama judges ”prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to issue a rare rebuke of the president in .
On Tuesday, Trump’s swipe at Jackson was similarly received. People rushed to fact-check the tweet and denounced Trump for “siccing his million Twitter followers ”on Jackson, as one person put it . Within moments of the tweet getting posted, Trump’s supporters were already chiming in, calling Jackson “ truly evil ”and slamming her as” a far-left activist Judge
But, the tweet misrepresented Jackson’s involvement in the Manafort case since the judge only sentenced Trump’s former campaign manager to 7½ years and was not responsible for the conditions of his confinement while awaiting trial.
FACTS: Yes, the judge sent Manafort to jail cuz broke the law again while out on bail. His VIP cell had a private shower and laptop. His lawyers told a separate judge that he was too far away – so that judge sent him to a new jail, where he was put in solitary for his own safety. https://t.co/rvVOqozlbA– Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) (February) ,
Jackson may or may not go along with the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation. Meanwhile, Trump resumed tweeting early Wednesday morning about the case, praising Attorney General William P. Barr and railing against “Rogue Prosors.”