Roger Stone’s attorneys have requested a new trial amid fierce criticism in Washington that President Donald Trump exerted political pressure to help his friend and confidante.
The Washington Post reported the news Friday citing a sealed filing in Stone’s case. Stone’s legal reasoning for seeking a new trial isn’t known.
Trump himself in recent days has smeared the jury foreperson in Stone’s case based on her politics, even though Stone’s lawyers — like lawyers for every other criminal defendant — had a chance to vet jurors for potential bias at the start of his trial.
Stone was convicted by a jury in November of all seven counts against him, including for witness tampering and lying to Congress.
The career prosecutors on his case from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia initially recommended a 7–9 year prison sentence in a filing this week. But after an angry tweet from the President about the suggested sentence, Attorney General Barr had other prosecutors file a new, watered-down proposal.
Following the change, the four career prosecutors who made the initial sentencing recommendation withdrew from Stone’s case. One of them resigned entirely from the Justice Department.
Prosecutors were ordered to respond to Stone’s motion by Feb. 18.