US Atty Who Oversaw Stone Case Resigns After Trump Pulls Her Treasury Nomination
The former U.S. attorney who oversaw the prosecution of Trump confidant Roger Stone has resigned two days after the president abruptly pulled her nomination for a top Treasury Department post, according to NBC News.
Jessie Liu, who led the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C., was moved from her office after President Donald Trump nominated her “to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a top position overseeing economic sanctions” earlier this year.
Liu’s office oversaw a number of cases that originated from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, including Stone’s case and that against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Though she reportedly told lawyers in her office that she would stay on until she was confirmed, Attorney General William Barr asked Liu to leave at the beginning of February to ensure continuity in the office, NBC reported. Liu agreed to the move.
The same day Liu left, the Justice Department submitted a new sentencing recommendation for Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. “The new filing said prosecutors believed probation would be an appropriate sentence for Flynn,” according to NBC, though “they had previously asked that he spend up to six months behind bars.”
A similar situation played out in Stone’s case: “After prosecutors on the case recommended a seven-to-nine-year sentence for Stone on Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office abruptly changed course the next day, saying that amount of time would be “excessive” and that Stone should get a lesser sentence.”
The situation caused public outrage, and four prosecutors on the case resigned in protest.
Though Liu was not involved in the Stone sentencing matter, NBC reported that Trump apparently was unhappy with the way her office handled the case from the beginning. He told reporters on Tuesday that "I thought the whole prosecution was ridiculous."
Liu’s nomination for the Treasury Department post was withdrawn the same day as Trump’s comments.