Roger Stone, a political consultant and longtime ally to President Donald Trump, was sentenced to 40 months on Thursday after being convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
Prosecutors initially recommended a sentence of seven to nine years in federal prison for Stone, but Attorney General William Barr had other ideas. Earlier this month, Department of Justice leadership took the unprecedented step of walking back federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation shortly after a 2 a.m. Trump tweet whining that it was “a horrible and very unfair situation” for Stone.
The entire prosecution team resigned after the DOJ’s new recommendation on Stone’s sentencing.
The rare crisis prompted the Federal Judges Association ― made up of 1,100 members ― to call for an emergency meeting on Tuesday to address concerns that the DOJ is meddling in political cases that should be left to federal judges and prosecutors.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson (whom Stone previously attacked in an Instagram post that he later had to delete and apologize for) ultimately decided on the felon’s sentencing. Stone’s lawyers attempted and failed to delay the sentencing earlier in the week.
In her decision to sentence Stone to just over three years in prison, Jackson said a sentence of seven to nine years “would be greater than necessary.” She also pushed back on the notion that Stone was simply a victim trying to protect Trump.
“He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president,” she said in her sentencing decision. “He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”
Stone was found guilty in November of lying to congressional investigators about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He was convicted on all seven counts he was charged with, including obstructing an official proceeding and witness tampering.
Stone had previously bragged about his connection to WikiLeaks, the shady information hub that released a trove of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. He later lied to Congress about his connection with WikiLeaks. Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign official, testified that he was in communication with Stone and believed the political operative had inside access to WikiLeaks.
On Tuesday, Trump called for the case against Stone to be thrown out entirely.
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