- The Washington Times - Monday, February 17, 2020

The federal judge overseeing Trump ally Roger Stone’s criminal case has ordered both defense attorneys and prosecutors to participate in a phone hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing comes just before Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday and nearly a week after all four federal prosecutors resigned from the case.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued the order late Sunday in response to the growing controversy in the case. She did not provide further information about the hearing.

Attorney General William P. Barr last week overturned prosecutors’ recommendation that Stone serve a sentence of seven to nine years for witness tampering, obstruction and lying to Congress.

The recommendation of a more lenient sentence sparked a political backlash particularly because of President Trump’s tweets blasting Stone’s prosecution.

Mr. Barr’s intervention drew criticism from Democrats who accused him of running political interference for the president, and four Stone prosecutors abruptly resigned.

Mr. Barr has denied that the president asked him to intervene in the Stone case but said Mr. Trump’s tweets make his job more difficult.

Stone has filed a motion for a new trial, which remains sealed as of Monday morning. The Justice Department has until Tuesday to respond to Stone’s request.

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