ALL NEWS

Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison

Feb 21, 2020, 7:16 AM

roger stone...

Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. Roger Stone, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, faces sentencing on his convictions for witness tampering and lying to Congress. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, was sentenced to more than three years in prison Thursday for obstructing a congressional investigation in a case that has sparked fears about presidential interference in the justice system.

Soon after Judge Amy Berman Jackson pronounced sentence, Trump publicly decried Stone’s conviction as unfair and prominent Republican legislators were giving tacit support for a pardon. But Trump said he wasn’t ready to act just yet.

“I want the process to play out. I think that’s the best thing to do because I would love to see Roger exonerated,” he said. “I’m going to watch the process. I’m going to watch very closely. … At some point I’ll make a determination.”

The case was marked by the Justice Department’s extraordinary about-face on a sentencing recommendation and a very public dispute between Trump and Attorney General William Barr, who said the president was undermining the department’s historical independence and making “it impossible for me to do my job.”

The president responded by asserting that he was the “chief law enforcement officer of the federal government.”

Stone was convicted in November on all seven counts of an indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

He was the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted on charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

At sentencing Thursday, Jackson grilled federal prosecutor John Crabb on the department’s decision to replace a tough sentencing recommendation for Stone with a more lenient one, which had prompted the original prosecution team to quit the case. Trump had called the original recommendation of seven to nine years a “miscarriage of justice.”

Jackson pointedly told Crabb that he might know less about the case than anyone in the room.

Jackson said the evidence clearly showed that Stone testified falsely to Congress and repeatedly pressured a potential witness to either back up his lie or refuse to testify.

Near the end, Jackson’s voice rose in anger as she said that Stone’s entire defense strategy seemed to amount to “So What?” Stone did not testify and called no witnesses on his behalf.

“This is NOT campaign hijinks. This was not Roger being Roger. You lied to Congress,” she told Stone. “The dismay and disgust … at the defendant’s actions in our polarized climate should transcend (political) parties.”

She sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison, plus two years’ probation and a $20,000 fine.

Stone remained largely expressionless throughout the proceedings. As he left the Washington, D.C., courthouse and got into a black SUV without speaking to reporters, crowds of protesters engaged in dueling chants of “Pardon Roger Stone!” and “Lock him up!”

His attorney Bruce Rogow said Stone and his team would have no comment. The judge delayed execution of his sentence while she considers Stone’s motion for a new trial.

Even before Trump said he would hold off a decision on a pardon, Republican and Democratic legislators were staking out positions on one.

Democratic House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of California tweeted after the sentencing that “to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption.”

But Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a staunch Trump ally, signaled early support for such a move, tweeting that Trump has “all the legal authority in the world” to pardon Stone if he chooses.

The sentencing came amid Trump’s unrelenting defense of his longtime confidant. The president has repeatedly maintained that the jury was tainted against him and his allies.

Prosecutor Crabb asked the judge to impose “a substantial period of incarceration.” Stone’s attorney Seth Ginsberg repeated the defense team’s plea that Stone get no prison time. Stone declined to address the court.

While clearly displeased with the mixed messages from the Justice Department, Jackson said she agreed that the initial sentencing recommendation was too harsh.

The evidence presented at Stone’s trial didn’t directly address Mueller’s conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to prove a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to tip the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. But it provided new insight into the scramble inside the Trump campaign when it was revealed in July 2016 that the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks was in possession of more than 19,000 emails hacked from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russia was the source of the hacked material.

Witnesses testified that Trump’s campaign viewed Stone as an “access point” to WikiLeaks and tried to use him to get advance word about hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors argued that Stone had lied to Congress about his conversations about WikiLeaks with New York radio host and comedian Randy Credico.

During the 2016 campaign, Stone mentioned in interviews and public appearances that he was in contact with founder Julian Assange through a trusted intermediary and hinted at inside knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.

Testimony revealed that Stone, while appearing before the House Intelligence Committee, named Credico as his intermediary to Assange and pressured Credico not to contradict him.

After Credico was contacted by Congress, he reached out to Stone, who told him he should “stonewall it” and “plead the fifth,” he testified. Credico also testified during Stone’s trial that Stone repeatedly told him to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli,’” a reference to a character in “The Godfather: Part II” who lies before Congress.

Prosecutors also charged that Stone had threatened Credico’s therapy dog, Bianca, saying he was “going to take that dog away from you.”

___

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

The Federal Trade Commission sued to block a proposed merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albe...

DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Business Writer

US sues to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons

The FTC says the $24.6 billion Kroger Albertsons merger would eliminate competition and lead to higher prices for millions of Americans.

38 minutes ago

People experiencing homelessness walk in the street near a winter overflow shelter at St. Vincent d...

Peter Johnston

Code blue bill would open emergency beds at 18 degrees

The legislature is considering whether to raise the temperature at which emergency beds open up during code blue alerts. 

2 hours ago

Rainy drive...

Adam Small

Rain and snow on it’s way to the Wasatch Front

Utah will be seeing rain and snow along the Wasatch Front over the next couple of days. Nice weather returns by week's end.

3 hours ago

Utah capitol clock...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

These are the biggest unresolved issues as Utah lawmakers enter last week of session

The 2024 Utah Legislative Session will come to a close on March 1. Here are some of the biggest bills yet to be passed.

3 hours ago

Soldiers carry the coffin of Ukrainian poet and serviceman Maksym Kryvtsov who was killed in action...

Stephanie Halasz and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Zelensky warns ‘millions will be killed’ without US aid to Kyiv, as Ukrainian troop deaths reach at least 31,000

“Millions” could die in Ukraine’s war with Russia if US lawmakers don’t approve President Joe Biden’s $60 billion aid request.

4 hours ago

utah lawmakers shown, a new resolution wants to address the natalie cline controversy...

Allessandra Harris

Lawmakers working to approve budget as legislative session enters last week

Lawmakers are looking to approve final budget as the legislative session enters the final week. The session ends March 1.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison