WASHINGTON -- A federal judge Tuesday refused to delay sentencing for Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, on his conviction for witness tampering and lying to Congress.
The decision by Judge Amy Berman Jackson came after Trump tweeted in defense of his longtime ally and said Stone's conviction "should be thrown out."
Stone's sentencing, scheduled for Thursday, comes as his attorneys are requesting a new trial, after Trump alleged "significant bias" from one juror.
The court developments come as the Federal Judges Association plans to host an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the intervention of the Department of Justice and Trump in the Stone sentencing, according to USA Today.
The group was set to meet later this spring, but its leader, Philadelphia U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, told USA Today the group "could not wait" to discuss the actions of Attorney General William Barr and Trump.
Top career prosecutors initially recommended Stone be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a House investigation. After Trump described the recommendations as a "miscarriage of justice," the department indicated it would relax its recommendations, leading all four career prosecutors on the case to resign. One left the department entirely.
Rufe said the conference call meeting would consist of 15 to 20 officers and members of the association's executive committee, adding that she did not know whether the association would share the results.
The nearly 40-year-old voluntary association advocates for federal judiciary independence.
Rufe told USA Today that the association was "not inclined to get involved with an ongoing case," but was supportive of Jackson, who is presiding over the trial. "I am not concerned with how a particular judge will rule," said Rufe, who was appointed by George W. Bush in 2002. "We are supportive of any federal judge who does what is required."
Jackson has found herself the subject of the president's ire.