After the stunning news that the Justice Department will scale back a sentencing recommendation filed by prosecutors who led the Roger Stone case, four of those prosecutors withdrew from the case, with one of them resigning from the Justice Department entirely.
In a notice to the court that he was withdrawing from Stone’s case, prosecutor Jonathan Kravis told the court he was resigning from his role as Assistant U.S. attorney.
Two other prosecutors who announced their withdrawal from Stone’s case, Adam Jed and Aaron Zelinsky, were both members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Michael Marando, another federal prosecutor assigned to the case, withdrew without resigning from the Justice Department as well.
Zelinksy’s withdrawal notice said he was resigning from his role in the U.S. Attorney’s office in D.C. — which took over the prosecution of Stone when Mueller’s shop shut down — but Zelinksy is reportedly retaining his position at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Maryland.
Several of the withdrawal notices came even before the Justice Department filed its amended sentencing recommendation for Stone, who is slated to be sentenced later this month.
A senior DOJ official earlier Tuesday told several media outlets that the Department was going to “clarify” the recommendation because the sentencing memo filed Monday was “extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate to Mr. Stone’s offenses.”
Trump tweeted angrily overnight about Monday’s memo, but the DOJ official reportedly claimed that the decision to amend the recommendation was made before Trump’s outburst.
By the end of the day Tuesday, every prosecutor who had signed Monday’s sentencing memo — with the exception of U.S. Attorney for D.C. Timothy Shea, who only stepped into that role late last month — had withdrawn from the case.
For the Department of Justice to so publicly and sloppily override the sentencing recommendation was extraordinary and shocking, former DOJ officials told TPM.
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism