President Trump is seemingly dishing out some behind-the-scenes retribution for federal prosecutors' handling of the Roger Stone case.
Trump withdrew his nomination for former U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu to become the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, two sources told Axios on Tuesday. Liu oversaw the Justice Department case against Stone, a friend and top supporter of Trump, until she stepped down from her position in December in anticipation of Trump's nomination.
Trump's reported decision comes the day after federal prosecutors recommended a 7–9 year prison sentence for Stone's November conviction on charges of lying, obstruction of justice, and witness-tampering. Trump protested the decision in a tweet, and the DOJ stepped in to override the initial recommendation, prompting all four prosecutors to step down from the case and one to even leave the department altogether.
Liu's reported withdrawal came abruptly, as she was scheduled to have her confirmation hearing for the position on Thursday. One source who spoke to Axios said the withdrawal was "the president's call," and another who spoke to CNN didn't deny it had something to do with Stone's sentencing recommendation.
The DOJ explained its reversal on the Stone case later Tuesday, recommending an unspecified prison sentence for Stone that was at least "far less" than prosecutors originally suggested.