Roger Stone

Sources Say Justice Department Internal Watchdog Probes Roger Stone's Sentencing

Prosecutors have said they were told to seek lighter sentence

Roger Stone, former adviser and confidante to U.S. President Donald Trump, leaves the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia after being sentenced February 20, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Justice Department inspector general's office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, President Donald Trump's longtime friend, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The investigation is focused on February, when Stone's prosecutors have said they were told to seek a lighter sentence that they had previously considered, according to the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to NBC News.

One of the prosecutors, Aaron Zelinsky, testified before Congress in June that he was told by the office of the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., to recommend a lighter sentence than he otherwise would have because of Stone's close personal relationship with Trump.

Attorney General William Barr ultimately intervened to override the prosecutors' recommendation of seven to nine years. All four prosecutors quit the case as a result.

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