A federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejected the notion "public criticism" or "pressure" have any bearing in a criminal sentencing, issuing a public statement Thursday night, according to The Hill.
"The Judges of this court base their sentencing decision on careful consideration of the actual record in the case before them; the applicable sentencing guidelines and statutory factors; the submission of the parties, the Probation Office of the victims; and their own judgement and experience," U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell wrote in a statement.
"Public criticism or pressure is not a factor."
Howell, appointed by former President Barack Obama, was the federal judge assigned to supervising the grand jury for special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, also an Obama appointee, will be delivering Stone's sentence next Thursday, Feb. 20.
The statement was rare, but the circumstances of Attorney General William Barr's admonition to President Donald Trump to stop tweeting about criminal cases was equally rare – as were Trump's tweets about the sentence recommendations of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone.
Four prosecutors working on the Stone case's sentencing resigned Tuesday after the Justice Department revised the recommendations down from the initial 7-9 years in prison.
Trump ripped the prosecutors and the "Mueller Scam" on Twitter:
"Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?"
Attorney General William Barr, in an ABC News interview Thursday night, called for Trump to stop discussing criminal cases publicly, saying he will not "be bullied or influenced by anybody" and "make it impossible for me to do my job."
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