U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Thursday sentenced Donald Trump’s longtime friend, Roger Stone, to a 40-month prison term for obstructing a congressional investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
From the Washington Post:
In a lengthy speech before imposing the penalty, Jackson seemed to take aim at Trump, saying that Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president; he was prosecuted for covering up for the president.” She also appeared to call out Attorney General William P. Barr, whose intervention to reduce career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation she called “unprecedented.” But she said the politics surrounding the case had not influenced her final decision.
Jackson made clear she thought Stone’s crimes were serious. She called his testimony “plainly false” and “a flat-out lie” and said his misdirection “shut out important avenues” for Congress to investigate. The judge said Stone knew “it could reflect badly on the president if someone learned” about his efforts to obtain damaging information from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks about Clinton, who was then running against Trump for president.
Prosecutors said the longtime GOP operative lied during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017 to conceal his central role in the Trump campaign’s efforts to learn about computer files hacked by Russia and made public by WikiLeaks. Stone also threatened a witness who was an associate of his in an attempt to prevent the man from cooperating with lawmakers.
In addition to the prison time, Judge Jackson ordered Stone to pay a $20,000 fine, do community service and submit to substance abuse testing.
Stone was convicted on all seven counts of lying to Congress and tampering with a witness by a jury last November. He is the sixth Trump associate convicted of crimes discovered by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.
I continue to believe Trump will pardon Stone sometime in the near future.
“They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.” @CNN OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
Judge sums up case thusly: "He was not prosecuted for standing up for the president; he was prosecuted for covering up for the president."
— Rachel Weiner (@rachelweinerwp) February 20, 2020
Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness.
He did it to cover up for Trump. His sentence is justified.
It should go without saying, but to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 20, 2020
The judge, by deferring Roger Stone's sentence pending a planned appeal, allows Trump to wait to pardon him until after the election.
Considering the glacial speed of appeals, there is no risk Stone is going to spend a single night in jail before Election Day.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) February 20, 2020