Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Roger Stone, a political strategist and ally of President Trump was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Thursday following his conviction for lying to Congress and threatening a witness.
Stone was also required to pay a $20,000 fine, given two years of probation, and mandated to serve 250 hours of community service for misleading the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 about his efforts to learn of plans by WikiLeaks to release emails hacked from the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, presiding over the sentencing of Stone, criticized his actions and defended the Justice Department prosecutors, who some have accused of engaging in a partisan prosecution.
“He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president,” Jackson said.
Judge Jackson's sentence, much lower than the original request of seven to nine years from prosecutors, is in line with historical sentencing guidelines. Jackson acknowledged that current sentencing guidelines are harsh.
The president criticized the original prosecutors, who have since resigned due to senior officials in the Justice Department overruled their original request for Stone to serve up to nine years in prison for his crimes.
"They say Roger Stone lied to Congress. OH, I see, but so did Comey, and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?" President Trump tweeted.
Judge Jackson defended the prosecutors and the process in this case, saying, "Any suggestion that the prosecutors in this case did anything untoward or unethical is incorrect." While she disagreed with the originally recommended sentence, Jackson said, "The government's initial memorandum was thorough, well-researched and supported."
Stone's defense motioned for a mistrial based on comments made by the jury forewoman, Tomeka Hart, who has posted highly critical statements of President Trump on social media.
Hart ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012, a fact she disclosed during jury selection. She affirmed when asked by Judge Jackson if she could fairly evaluate the evidence during the trial, and Stone's lawyers did not request to have her removed from the jury pool.