Roger Stone, a close confidant of President Trump, has been sentenced to 40 months in jail for lying to Congress and witness tampering, stemming from the Trump-Russia probe that was quarterbacked by ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller (via NBC News):
Roger Stone, a friend of President Donald Trump and longtime Republican campaign adviser, was sentenced to three years, four months in federal prison Thursday for obstructing a congressional investigation of Russia's 2016 presidential election meddling.
But Stone will not have to report to prison until the judge acts on a pending defense motion for a new trial, based on a claim of juror bias.
Asked by Federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson if he had any statement to make before she handed down her sentence of 40 months, a $20,000 fine, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service. Stone declined the offer.
Stone's prison sentence would likely end the career of one of the most controversial and colorful political operatives in American history — a self-described "agent provocateur" who spent a career in the shadows of Republican politics before helping to engineer Trump's election. As depicted in the Netflix documentary "Get Me Roger Stone," he saw Trump's potential as a presidential candidate earlier than most.
Stone's lawyers argued that his history in politics, declining health at age 67, and the low likelihood that he would ever commit another crime called for probation, or at most home confinement. Federal prosecutors at first recommended a sentence of seven to nine years. But Attorney General William Barr directed Justice Department lawyers to submit a new court filing, suggesting three to four years would be more appropriate.
Here are some more details (via Axios):
Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes that include obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.
Why it matters: Stone is the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced for crimes unearthed by former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. His case has been at the heart of ongoing tensions between President Trump and his Justice Department.
The decision comes after the case's new federal prosecutors largely argued Thursday within the parameters of the Justice Department's original seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation for Stone.
The new lead prosecutor told the judge that he could not discuss the circumstances that led to or who wrote a revised sentencing recommendation that argued for significantly less prison time, per Vox's Andrew Prokop.
What they're saying: Judge Amy Berman Jackson said just prior to his sentencing that Stone "was not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president." She also said that he "will not be sentenced for who his friends are, or who his enemies are."
"The truth still matters. Roger Stone's insistence that it doesn’t his pride in his own lies are a threat to the very foundation of this democracy," she added.
The backdrop: A federal jury in November convicted Stone last year after he lied to Congress about his efforts to learn more about when WikiLeaks would publish damaging emails about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.
As you know, the sentencing recommendations from the Department of Justice caused a whole new batch of headaches and unnecessary drama. The Stone team being undercut by their superiors prompted the team to quit and renewed calls from Democrats that Trump was intervening in this case. Oh, and there was some impeachment 2.0 talk as well. It’s not shocking, given what we’ve seen from these career folks in D.C., that these prosecutors knew this sentencing guideline would be chipped away and planned to leave in protest—an act of resistance. It was all coordinated.
Frankly, this whole thing is a circus. The Mueller report and the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuses during the Obama era all exposed the Trump dossier, the basis for this Russian collusion nonsense, as a total sham. It was bunk. Friendly reminder that the Trump dossier was a piece of Democrat-funded opposition research. The Hillary Clinton campaign solicited the services of Fusion GPS, a research firm, who then hired ex-MI6 spook Christopher Steele to find dirt on Trump. This same document, which wasn’t verified by the FBI, was cited as credible evidence to secure a FISA spy warrant against former Trump campaign official, Carter Page. It was all based on a lie—and the liberal media and the Democratic Party ran with it and have been warped by it. It was a partisan witch hunt and ammunition used by the Left to execute a soft coup against Donald Trump.
Pardon Roger Stone.