A judge, Amy Berman Jackson has, has sentenced the former adviser of the US president to 40 months in prison
Roger Stone was declared guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. He is the sixth of Trump’s aides convicted on charges linked to a justice department inquiry that found links of Russian attempts to boost president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Stone was found to be lying to the House Intelligence Committee concerning his attempts to contact Wikileaks, the website that released damaging emails about Mr Trump’s 2016 Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton. He will serve two years’ probation after his custodial sentence and has also been fined $20,000 (£15,500) as well as serve 250 hours of community service.There is not a need for him to report to prison until the judge rules on a pending defense appeal.
Speaking in her court at Washington DC on Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson revealed that Stone had engaged in “threatening and intimidating conduct” towards her.
She said he “knew exactly what he was doing” when he posted a picture on social media last year of a gun’s cross-hairs next to her head. According to him, he thought the cross-hairs were a Celtic cross.This is intolerable to the rule of justice,” she said. “The court cannot just sit idly by and say ‘that’s just Roger being Roger.'”
Judge Amy Jackson added that Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president,rather he was prosecuted for covering up for the president”. She continued by saying : “The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party. At his core, Mr Stone is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.”
She went on to say that her final decision had nothing to do with the surrounding politics as related to the case. “The truth still exists. The truth still matters,” she said.
After recommendations from prosecutors to increase the sentence to seven to nine years, Mr Trump tweeted that such a prison term would be “very horrible and unfair”. The Department of Justice then swiftly said it had plans to reduce the amount of prison time sought for Stone.This caused all four prosecutors on the case to quit, with one entirely leaving the justice department. Judge Jackson called the justice department intervention “unprecedented”.
Seth Ginsberg, the attorney of the defendant, said that regardless of his client’s image as a “dirty trickster”, he is a spiritual man who is very devoted to his family. “Mr Stone is, in fact, not simply that public persona, but a human being,” he said. Mr Ginsberg had argued that Stone should get no prison time.
Stone, however, declined to speak at Thursday’s hearing. Decked in sunglasses and a dark fedora, he made his way into the courthouse flanked by his wife, family and friends. He walked past several protesters, one of whom shouted “traitor” at him.
Trump defended Stone whilst speaking in Las Vegas, Nevada, after the sentencing. He indicated no immediate plans to pardon Stone, but said that “at some point I’m going to make a determination”.
President Trump said: “I’d love to see Roger exonerated, and I’d love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly. It is my strong opinion that the forewoman of the jury is totally tainted, she was an anti-Trump activist.”