Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday sentenced Roger Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, to 40 months in prison.
Stone was convicted last year of witness tampering and giving false statements to Congress in relation to investigations of Russian election interference. The circumstances surrounding Stone’s sentencing have become politically eruptive, with Trump tweeting in support of Stone and prosecutors resigning in protest last week after Department of Justice higher-ups intervened to request a lighter sentence.
Jackson had harsh words for Stone when she issued his sentence, noting the political fervor surrounding the case. She asserted that the president’s comments were “entirely inappropriate” and said that Roger Stone “was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.” “The dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence,” Jackson said, “should transcend party.”
Speaking at a commencement event in Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon, Trump dismissed speculation, for the time being, that he might pardon Stone, saying “I want to see it play out to its fullest, because Roger has a very good chance at exoneration.” Jackson has yet to rule on Stone’s recent motion for a new trial, which the defendant filed last week asserting that one of the jurors had engaged in misconduct.