Trump praises Barr after prosecutors quit Roger Stone case

Roger stone case: Four prosecutors quit after interference

Barr agrees to testify to House amid Roger Stone sentencing dispute

"There should be an investigation", said House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress.

Stone has denied wrongdoing and called the case politically motivated.

US Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a staunch Trump supporter, said, "I don't think it's appropriate for [Trump] to be commenting on cases in the system". As a result, all four prosecutors on the case resigned and Attorney General William Barr assumed direct control over Stone's case.

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"To have public statements and tweets made about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we're doing our work with integrity", he said.

Barr has agreed to testify March 31 before the House Judiciary Committee. A jury convicted Stone in November on charges of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his efforts to gather damaging information about Trump's 2016 presidential election opponent Hillary Clinton. He is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

The departures on Tuesday raised immediate questions over whether Mr. Trump, who earlier in the day had blasted the original sentencing recommendation as "very disgusting and unfair", had at least indirectly exerted his will on a Justice Department that he often views as an arm of the White House.

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The juror's husband also worked at the same Justice Department division that handled the criminal probe that led to Stone's arrest. "He has the right to do it - he just didn't", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News.

Trump targeted the judge and the outgoing prosecutors in other tweets, and retweeted a post that urged a full pardon for Stone as well as Michael Flynn, another former Trump adviser. Stone also briefed the Trump campaign about whatever he had learned about WikiLeaks' plans.

The reversal drove all four career prosecutors in the case to quit, and one to leave the government entirely.

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"I can not do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me", Barr said. Capitol Hill Democrats demanded an investigation into why the department overruled prosecutors' initial request as "excessive and unwarranted". And Rep. Ted Lieu, a fellow Democrat on the committee, said there would be hearings on the matter. He later told reporters he didn't speak to Justice Department officials, though he said he could if he wanted. Although advisory federal sentencing guidelines take a mathematical approach to sentencing, some decisions about aggravating factors can turn on subjective judgment, and prosecutors sometimes overreach.

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