One of the prosecutors who were responsible for the prosecution of President Trump’s friend intends to testify to the “political patronage” demonstrated by his hierarchy.
“What I have heard – repeatedly – is that Roger Stone was treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship with the president“Aaron Zelinsky should assert from the first minutes of his testimony before the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
In a 13-page statement, he also claims to have heard that the acting federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia, “was under heavy pressure from the highest authorities in the Justice Department“To give the accused a chance and the instructions he gave them were”based on political considerations”
Me Zelinsky, who admits that he did not take part in discussions with the hierarchy of the Justice Department, said that he based his analysis on the way the file was treated and on the discussions with his bosses.
Described as a whistleblower by Democrats, Aaron Zelinsky, like two of his colleagues,removed from file in February after the Justice Department intervened with the judge so that Roger Stone could obtain a lenient sentence than that initially requested by the officials responsible for the prosecution. A fourth prosecutor had even resigned.
In an exceptional rebuff against members of his team, Attorney General Bill Barr had defended the decision of his department, judging “excessive and unjustifiedThe sentence of seven to nine years’ imprisonment that prosecutors had recommended.
With angry tweets, President Trump had previously attacked prosecutors and the justice system.
However, the supervisor of the prosecutors on file told them a few days earlier that their argument was “solid“And that Roger Stone”deserved every day»Of the imprisonment which they claimed, writes Me Zelinsky.
Subsequently, however, they were ordered to ease the sentence, although a supervisor admitted that the decision was “unethical and wrong“, He maintains.
Despite “significant pressuresProsecutors have refused to ease the sentence, he said.
Returning to the charges brought against Roger Stone, the chronology surrounding the saga of the flip-flop of his hierarchy and to the guidelines of the Department of Justice as regards the determination of the penalties requested, he further claims that the arguments advanced in the last memorandum were “in contradiction with the file and contrary to the policy of the department”
The Justice Department’s decision to override the initial recommendation from prosecutors is “virtually unprecedented“Just like the fact that none of the prosecutors signed the document submitted by the department, underlines Me Zelinsky.
In a statement relayed by the American media, a spokeswoman for the department of Bill Barr denounced the indictment of the prosecutor, saying that his accusations were “based on one’s own interpretation of events and hearsay (at best)And not on facts which he is said to have witnessed.
Kerri Kupec touted “engagement [de Bill Barr] towards the rule of law and the fair and impartial administration of justiceAsserting that he made sure to enforce the law apolitically.
The attorney general’s flip-flop in favor of a friend of the president had earned him accusations of judicial interference by Democrats, in particular, but also more than 2,000 former prosecutors and officials from the Justice Department.
Roger Stone was ultimately sentenced to 40 months in prison.
His high-profile trial stemmed from the investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and into the possible collaboration between Moscow and the Trump camp.
Sixth Donald Trump collaborator to be sentenced in the Mueller investigation, he was convicted last November of seven counts, including those for obstructing the work of a committee of the House of Representatives, for corrupting witnesses, and for lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks about hacked Democratic emails that harmed the campaign from Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The committee chair also confirmed on Monday that he intended to summon Bill Barr to appear on July 2 to report on the controversial dismissal of New York City district attorney Geoffrey Berman on Friday. last evening.
His office, recognized for its judicial independence, investigated relatives of the American president.
In a succession of unprecedented events over two days, Bill Barr announced the resignation of Geoffrey Berman, who denied resigning, then refused to leave, before being told by the Attorney General that he was then dismissed by Donald Trump, who then claimed to have nothing to do with this dismissal, which led Me Berman to finally agree to submit your resignation.
Accused of interference in this matter, Bill Barr was to testify last March before the Judicial Committee to defend his management of several other files, for which he was also accused of having intervened in favor of the president. The pandemic had, however, prevented his testimony.
In particular, there was to be a question of his intervention in the Stone file.
The Democrats also want to question him on other issues, including his role in the muscular dispersal of peaceful demonstrators outside the White House. This allowed the president to take a photo shoot in front of a church.
In May 2019, Bill Barr had shunned a committee hearing, who wanted to ask him about his handling of the Mueller report. Democrats him criticized in particular for having presented a misleading version report conclusions.
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