Partner Scott Fredericksen was quoted in the Yahoo! News article, “Former Federal Prosecutors Describe the Roger Stone Sentencing Reversal as Unprecedented.”
Stone, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, was convicted in 2019 on charges including lying to Congress and witness tampering. Federal prosecutors had recommended a sentence of seven-to-nine years, but the Department of Justice intervened and overruled the recommendation. Trump then tweeted his support for the Justice Department’s actions. Four federal prosecutors involved in the case then withdrew.
Fredericksen, a former federal prosecutor told Yahoo! News that the seven-to-nine-year recommended sentence fell within federal sentencing guidelines and that while it was arguably a “heavy recommendation,” it was well within the expected range for a defendant convicted for Stone’s crimes. “It wasn’t a number that was just picked out of thin air by prosecutors to be tough. It’s determined by the federal sentencing guidelines which is applicable to everyone who ends up being convicted before our federal courts,” he said.
Fredericksen said that the prosecutors were right to be upset over the reversal. “They resigned based on principle,” he said. “The principle is that the president of the United States has absolutely no business involving himself in criminal prosecutions.”
Fredericksen said he was particularly troubled by the fact that Barr’s decision to overrule the prosecutors coincided with a tweet from the president expressing his dismay at the sentencing recommendation.
“It was inappropriate for the attorney general to weigh in and countermand the recommendations of career prosecutors,” he said. “There is no precedent like this in the history of the Department of Justice of which I’m aware and that’s why it is a sad day for the Department of Justice.”