The department insisted the decision to undo the sentencing recommendation was made Monday night - before Mr Trump's tweet - and prosecutors had not spoken to the White House about it.
After that highly unusual move, four prosecutors in the case - Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando - withdrew. It told the court that the original recommendation "does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice's position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter" and that the actual sentence should be "far less". The Judiciary Committee chairman told reporters on Capitol Hill he isn't planning to request Attorney General Barr to appear and testify in front of his panel.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr speaks about the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign, during the Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Council meeting, at the Four Seasons Hotel on December 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. And I want to thank, if you look at what happened, I want to thank the Justice Department for seeing this, this frightful thing. The charges were levied by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
"I don't want to say that yet but I tell you what, people were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people", he said.
Stone's motion for a new trial was denied by the judge in his case in a ruling unsealed on Wednesday.
The departures 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.
President Trump is withdrawing his nomination for former US attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a top position overseeing economic sanctions, according to two sources with direct knowledge.
And after the decision was announced, he posted a barrage of tweets attacking both the prosecutors and US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who will sentence Stone. The prosecutors had recommended a 9-year sentence for Roger Stone, a longtime friend of the president. The House voted in December to impeach Trump because of his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats; the GOP-led Senate acquitted him this month.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks during the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative one-year anniversary event event co-hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senior Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump, at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.