U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Roger Stone to three years and four months in prison after he was convicted of charges of obstruction of justice, lying to Congress, and witness tampering.
Before announcing the sentencing, Jackson ripped into Stone’s character, calling him an “insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.”
Judge on Stone: “At his core, Mr. Stone is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention” via @kpolantz— Kristin Donnelly (@kristindonnelly) February 20, 2020
Additionally, Jackson refuted claims that Stone was unfairly prosecuted, “He is not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he is prosecuted for covering up for the president.”
Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison.— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) February 20, 2020
“He is not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he is prosecuted for covering up for the president,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said.
Jackson’s sentencing caps off a contentious few days regarding Stone’s sentencing. On Feb. 10, federal prosecutors recommended Stone receive seven to nine years in prison.
However, Justice Department officials stepped in to overrule the original prosecutors’ recommendation and suggest that Stone receive a lighter sentence. That led the prosecutors to resign allegedly in protest of the move.
Democrats cried foul, claiming that President Donald Trump had pressured Justice Department officials to recommend a lighter sentence. They pointed to a tweet Trump sent, before the Justice Department’s intervention, to voice his outrage over the severity of the sentencing.
However, Attorney General William Barr said that Trump never told him to get involved in a criminal case. And he added that he was already considering recommending a shorter sentencing before Trump sent his tweet.
In an interview with ABC News, Barr said that Trump’s tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.” He also said, “It’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”
However, it doesn’t seem that Trump was swayed by Barr’s comments about his tweeting habits.
As the sentencing commenced, Trump took to Twitter to voice his outrage that Stone was prosecuted, while at the same time, former officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation — who were investigated for potential violations of the law — were spared prosecution.
“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
Before the sentencing, Stone’s lawyers asked for a new trial, but Jackson said she would proceed with the sentencing as scheduled. However, she said she would delay the implementation until she ruled on the motion for a new trial.