Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Donald Trump’s and a onetime adviser to his campaign, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison and fined $20,000 Thursday. Stone was convicted last November of lying to Congress, obstructing justice, and witness tampering for threats against comedian Randy Credico.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson spoke at length before announcing the sentence, calling Stone “an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.”
If Stone’s crimes go unpunished, she said, “it will not be a victory for one party or another. Everyone loses … For that reason, the dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.”
Stone did not speak to the court prior to the sentencing, but his lawyer did ask for sympathy for a man who, despite his “larger-than-life persona,” is “a real human being.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia suggested a seven-to-nine-year sentence for Stone, which drew harsh and immediate criticism from President Trump. “This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” Trump tweeted. “The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”
The Justice Department appeared to quickly respond to Trump’s tweets when, a day after the sentencing recommendation, officials recommended a more lenient sentence. The move led four career prosecutors to withdraw from the Stone case and one to resign from the DOJ.
But Trump praised the revision. “Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s response to the sentencing recommendation led to speculation that he may pardon Stone. Asked last week if he would do so, Trump said, “I don’t want to say that yet, but I tell you what: People were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people.” He has, however, left little doubt about the direction in which he’s leaning. On Thursday while Stone was in court, Trump tweeted a clip of Tucker Carlson encouraging him to issue a pardon.