They’ve clerked for Supreme Court justices, served at the State Department and orbited Robert Mueller.
On Tuesday, the four main federal prosecutors working on the obstruction and perjury case of Roger Stone shared another distinction: they quit the case. The abrupt withdrawals came after the Justice Department overruled their recommendation for a stiffer sentence for Stone, a longtime friend and informal adviser of President Donald Trump. One of the prosecutors resigned outright.
The prosecutors had asked a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., to sentence Stone to up to nine years in prison for obstructing a congressional investigation, witness tampering and making false statements during the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Late Monday, Trump took a swipe at the prosecutors on Twitter, saying they were beholden to Mueller and had recommended an unduly harsh sentence in Stone’s case.
Here’s what we know about the prosecutors who withdrew from the case.
Jonathan Kravis, assistant U.S. attorney
Kravis, 42, said in a court filing Tuesday afternoon that he had resigned from his post at the Justice Department and “therefore no longer represents the government in this matter.”
He was a trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, according to his law school biography at George Washington University, where he was listed as a professorial lecturer.
Kravis, who got his law degree at Yale University, previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. During President Barack Obama’s first term, he served as an associate White House counsel.
Kravis clerked for Merrick B. Garland, the appeals court judge who was nominated by Obama for the Supreme Court in 2016, but never got a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate. He also clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the Supreme Court.
Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, special assistant U.S. attorney
Zelinsky, 36, was the first of the four prosecutors to file a withdrawal notice in federal court, which said that he had “resigned effective immediately” from his role as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
He will remain an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, said Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland, where Zelinsky worked under Rod J. Rosenstein when Rosenstein was the top federal prosecutor in the state. Rosenstein went on to become the deputy attorney general.
Zelinsky played a central role in the prosecution of George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential election. Papadopoulos served 14 days in jail.
Zelinsky clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy before his retirement from the Supreme Court and for Justice John Paul Stevens after his retirement. He worked for the State Department during the Obama administration and received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale.
Adam C. Jed, special assistant U.S. attorney
Jed, 38, was part of the cadre of lawyers who worked for Mueller on the 22-month Russia investigation. He entered the spotlight when he argued in pretrial litigation that certain records should be sealed from the public in order to protect the open investigation.
Jed had previously worked as an appellate lawyer for the Justice Department’s civil division, where he gained recognition in 2013 for arguing that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
He also clerked for Stevens, according to Harvard Law Today, an alumni publication of the university where Jed got his law degree in 2008.
Michael J. Marando, assistant U.S. attorney
Marando, 42, became the fourth and final member of the prosecution team who withdrew from the Stone case Tuesday.
He is an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, where he has prosecuted money laundering, fraud and sex offender cases.
In January, Marando helped to secure a 60-month prison sentence for a Virginia man who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1.3 million from companies and individuals by requiring deposits for bogus loans.
In March 2018, he secured an 18-month prison sentence for a dual citizen of Russia and Israel who had pleaded guilty to money laundering as part of an international fraud scheme.
Marando received his undergraduate and law degrees from Cornell University, according to his wedding announcement in The New York Times.