Three federal prosecutors in the criminal case against Republican operative Roger Stone dramatically quit the case Tuesday shortly after the Department of Justice said it will force prosecutors to cut their recommendation that the longtime ally of President Donald Trump serve as long as nine years in prison.
Jonathan Kravis, who delivered the closing argument at Stone’s trial last fall, resigned as an assistant U.S. Attorney, according to a court filing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., federal court.
Kravis, who did not give a reason in the filing, will no longer work as a prosecutor for the federal government.
Another prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, also withdrew from Stone’s case, and resigned as a special assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., according to his own filing in court, which did not explain his decision.
But Zelinsky will continue serving as a federal prosecutor in Maryland.
The third prosecutor, Adam Jed, in a separate filing said he was withdrawing as a special assistant U.S. Attorney in the case. Jed has worked as an appellate attorney in the Justice Department’s civil division. It was not immediately clear if he will continue in that post after leaving the Stone case.
All three prosecutors, along with a fourth one, Michael Marando, signed the controversial sentencing recommendation for Stone on Monday night that since has come under attack both from the Justice Department and from Trump for being too harsh. [Continue reading…]
In a sentencing filing Monday, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington argued that Stone’s conduct was exceptionally sinister because of the importance of those investigations and the danger of overseas influence on U.S. elections.
“Foreign election interference is the ‘most deadly adversar[y] of republican government,’” prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington wrote, quoting Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 68. “Investigations into election interference concern our national security, the integrity of our democratic processes, and the enforcement of our nation’s criminal laws. These are issues of paramount concern to every citizen of the United States. Obstructing such critical investigations thus strikes at the very heart of our American democracy.”
The argument was strikingly similar — in some cases borrowing from the exact passages from the same Constitution-era text — as that lodged by the House’s prosecutors during Trump’s impeachment trial. “Alexander Hamilton cautioned that the ‘most deadly adversaries of republican government may come ‘chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils,'” the House members argued in their trial brief. [Continue reading…]