WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours before a court session regarding his longtime ally Roger Stone, President Donald Trump is tweeting that Stone’s recent conviction for witness tampering and lying to Congress “should be thrown out.”
The barrage of Tuesday morning tweets comes days after Trump earned a public rebuke from his own attorney general, William Barr, who had said the president’s tweets were “making it impossible” for Barr to do his job.
Trump tweeted Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano’s comment that the jury appears to have been biased against Trump and calling out Judge Amy Berman Jackson by name, saying “almost any judge in the country” would throw out the conviction.
Trump added in a subsequent tweet. “Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out.”
Stone was convicted in November of a seven-count indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Jackson on Thursday with a logistical hearing planned for today.
Prosecutors had recommended a tough sentence of between seven to nine years in federal prison. But Barr reversed that decision and recommended a less harsh punishment, prompting the entire prosecution team to resign from the case.
Barr later denied that Trump’s Twitter denunciation of the sentencing recommendation had influenced his decision; in an interview with ABC News, Barr said he had not been asked by Trump to look into the case.