Top federal judge issues rare statement after Trump goes after Roger Stone court case

Top federal judge issues rare statement after Trump goes after Roger Stone court case
ABC News screenshot

After President Donald Trump's attacks on Judge Amy Berman Jackson overseeing the criminal case against his ally Roger Stone, the chief judge in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. spoke out Thursday against undue influence.


"Public criticism or pressure is not a factor" in sentencing decisions, Chief Judge Beryl Howell said in a statement.

Trump had lashed out at District Judge Jackson in a recent tweet, falsely accusing her on Tuesday of having put Paul Manafort — the president's former campaign manager — in solitary confinement.

That attack came after Trump had expressed outrage that the U.S. Justice Department recommended Stone receive a sentence of up to nine years. In a move dictated by Attorney General Bill Barr, the department subsequently amended its sentencing memo and called for a more limited sentence. These moves drew widespread criticism as it appeared that the president or his appointees were directly intervening in a criminal case to benefit his friend.

Howell seems to have been concerned that the outrage around the sentencing could influence the public perception of the integrity of Jackson's sentencing decision, which is still forthcoming.

"The Judges of this Court base their sentencing decisions on careful consideration of the actual record in the case before them; the applicable sentencing guidelines and statutory factors; the submissions of the parties, the Probation Office and victims; and their own judgment and experience," Howell said.

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.