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Shock Development: Mueller Alumnus Abruptly Leaves Stone Case Under Cloud

On Tuesday February 11, 2020, Special Assistant United States Attorney Aaron S.J. Zelinsky filed a notice of withdrawal from the criminal case against Roger Stone. Zelinsky stayed on with the Department of Justice after the Mueller probe disbanded to continue prosecution against Roger Stone, one of Mueller’s targets.

Zelinsky originally joined the Mueller team from the District of Maryland where he once worked for then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. This filing came within hours of the Department of Justice disavowing a 9-year sentencing recommendation filed in the Roger Stone criminal case. Fox News reported that the Department of Justice issued a statement repudiating the Zelinsky recommendation stating, “The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the Stone case last night. The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.”

In the early hours of Tuesday, the president weighed in via Twitter, writing, “This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”

According to Twitter-sleuth Techno Fog, Zelinsky also resigned “effective immediately” as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Zelinsky’s exit from the Stone’s case comes on the heels of the latest government filing in the Michael Flynn case (also pending sentencing) in which Mueller holdover Brandon Van Grack’s name was conspicuously absent fueling speculation that the Department of Justice has decided to purge Mueller alumni from highly sensitive prosecutions that spun off from the Mueller probe.