The forthcoming sentencing of a long-time confidant of US President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, has rapidly developed into an explosive political issue. After criticism from the White House and direct intervention by the Ministry of Justice, all four prosecutors involved in the case have now resigned.
This unusual move was widely understood as a protest against the apparently politically motivated interference by the Ministry. Stone faces trial for his role in the Russia affair.
The prosecutors had recommended that the federal court in Washington be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison because of the seriousness of Stone’s offenses. President Trump was then angry on Twitter that such a „misconduct of the judiciary“ should not be allowed.
Although the Department of Justice does not usually oppose prosecutors ‚recommendations, the agency said a few hours later that the prosecutors‘ proposal was „excessive and unjustified“. The ministry recommended the court a “significantly lower” sentence.
Stone had been found guilty by a jury on several charges in November. In connection with contacts to the disclosure platform WikiLeaks, he is charged with false statements, hindrance to investigations and influencing witnesses.