WASHINGTON (CN) — A look back at Donald Trump’s Twitter feed this week tells the story of a president who took aim and fired at the courts as the fallout from his Justice Department reversing its recommended sentence for Roger Stone battered Washington.
No one involved escaped the attacks. Trump railed at the career federal prosecutors who resigned in protest, the judge set to sentence his longtime ally next week and the jury foreperson who spoke out in defense of justice.
The barrage directed at the one government agency that had so far dodged the president’s social media spitfire confirmed Democrats’ fears that the GOP-controlled Senate’s acquittal of the president just last week on abuse of power and obstruction of justice impeachment charges would leave him unrestrained in the Oval Office.
Accusing Trump of political interference in a criminal prosecution, Democrats are now calling for investigations by Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, spurring what could be another monthslong probe into the president’s alleged misconduct.
This week’s Twitter barrage started very early Tuesday, when the president responded to a Justice Department sentencing memo filed Monday evening recommending seven to nine years in prison for Stone.
“This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” the president tweeted Tuesday at 1:48 a.m.
The outburst marked Trump’s second public commentary on Stone’s case since a federal jury found the president’s longtime confidant guilty of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. Moments after the unanimous verdict this past November convicting Stone on all seven criminal charges, Trump weighed in on Twitter to question whether the jury’s decision was a “double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?”
Facing a maximum sentence of 50 years, Stone had been expected to receive a lenient prison term as a first-time offender. The seven- to nine-year proposal from the prosecutors who brought the case to trial considered sentencing guidelines and statutory factors.
By midmorning Tuesday, the Justice Department signaled it planned to roll back the sentencing recommendation.
“Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!” the president tweeted Tuesday at 8:47 p.m.
The judge, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, has presided over the criminal cases of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, campaign deputy chair Rick Gates and Gates’ associate Alex van der Zwaan, all indicted by former special counsel Robert Mueller.
Known in Washington to be a fair and exacting judge, Jackson rejected the notion that Gates got “caught up” in D.C. political drama when she sentenced him – a vortex she now finds herself at the very center of.
“It's perfectly possible to conduct yourself with ethics, integrity, and no hint of scandal, even in politics, even in D.C., even in Ukraine,” Jackson told Gates from the bench on Dec. 17. “Politics don't corrupt people, people corrupt politics.”