Last Updated on February 11, 2020
The prosecuting attorney who worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to successfully prosecute Roger Stone, the former adviser to President Donald Trump and radio host for Infowars, has resigned effective immediately following the Department of Justice retracting their sentencing guidelines for the Stone case.
Earlier today, the DOJ was reportedly “shocked” to learn of the sentencing guidelines for Stone’s case that would have seen him spend the next 7 to 9 years in prison. Some have speculated he could have been sentenced to 40 years under the previous sentencing guidelines.
As the news broke that the DOJ was reconsidering the sentencing, the prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, tendered his immediate resignation from the case.
“The notice doesn’t give a reason – it cites to a local court rule that requires the U.S. government to designate a DOJ attorney who will appear on behalf of the government,” wrote Reuters reporter Brad Heath on Twitter. “Zelinsky signed the withdraw notice.”
Gotta read the footnotes. Zelinsky, the former Mueller prosecutor still helping with the Stone case, resigned from DOJ "effective immediately." pic.twitter.com/kELeKQ11Eo
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) February 11, 2020
In a followup tweet, Heath added, “Zelinsky, the former Mueller prosecutor still helping the Stone case, resigned from DOJ ‘effective immediately.'”
The trial against Stone faced its own controversy, when an Obama-appointed judge allowed a juror to remain that many believed would be biased against Stone.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, refused on Tuesday to remove a potential juror with a clear conflict of interest in the high profile Roger Stone Trial.
The potential juror served as a press secretary in the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration, according to Politico and Reuters.
According to Daily Caller, the defense lawyers told the judge that the woman admitted to holding negative feelings about President Donald J. Trump. Additionally her husband also currently works in the Justice Department’s national security division, which was involved in the investigation of the Trump campaign and other Trump associates, including Stone.
Stone’s guilty verdict was also sharply divisive in the Republican Party, with establishment #NeverTrump Republicans celebrating the guilty verdict, while many supporters of President Trump were shocked and outraged.
Daughter of former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and current host of The View, Meghan McCain, went as far as tweeting “Rot in hell, Roger Stone.”
Rot in hell, Roger Stone.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) November 15, 2019
It is unclear what will happen next in the Roger Stone case.
Update: Four prosecutors have now resigned following the DOJ’s decision.