Trump Associate Roger Stone Gets 40 Months In Prison

WCBS 880 Newsroom
February 20, 2020 - 12:51 pm
Roger Stone

Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY

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WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) — Roger Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in federal prison.

Stone was sentenced after being found guilty of lying to Congress about WikiLeaks-related matters in the Russian election meddling investigation and witness tampering.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Stone's crimes demanded a significant time behind bars, but she said the original recommended by the Justice Department was excessive.

Stone’s lawyers had asked for a lighter sentence of probation, noting his age, health and lack of criminal history. President Trump also came to his defense.

Earlier in the week, Trump tweeted angrily about the prosecutors’ handling of the case, leading the DOJ to lower its recommendation to the judge that Stone serve seven to nine years in prison.

The move became a point of concern that Trump was then exerting inappropriate influence on the Justice Department, with Attorney General William Barr publicly slamming the president for preventing him from doing his job.

The DOJ’s decision to lower its recommendation also prompted four prosecutors to quit Stone’s case in protest.

Meanwhile, Judge Jackson stressed that Stone was on trial for his actions – not who he was associated with. She also slammed Stone for his use of social media to generate public sentiment against the prosecution.

“This is intolerable to the administration of justice,” Jackson said.

Prior to the sentencing, President Trump once again took to Twitter to denounce Stone’s punishment, targeting Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey.

“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),” the president wrote, “and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?”

The post has reignited rumors that the president may decide to pardon Stone, giving his recent clemency spree that saw him pardon former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik and commute the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Trump has not said if he will, only saying: “I haven't given it any thought ... but I think he's been treated very unfairly.”

Stone is the seventh Trump associate to be sentenced to prison time following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in the 2016 election.

Others to be sentenced included Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign advisor George Papadopoulos.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is awaiting sentencing as well.

(© 2020 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)