Former Trump associate Roger Stone has become the latest person in President Donald Trump’s orbit to be sentenced for lying to congress, something that has so far not happened to any anti-Trump people who have lied to congress.
Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Thursday for lying to congress and obstructing the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in 2016 to steal the election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded there was no evidence that anyone on the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, yet Stone was still charged with obstruction.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who had signaled previously that she may give Stone a harsh sentence, handed down the sentence on Thursday, saying “The court should not just shrug its shoulders and say this is a case of ‘Roger being Roger,’” according to The New York Daily news.
Jackson, an Obama appointee, went on to say that Stone’s crimes hurt American democracy and that letting him off easy would damage the rule of law and let partisanship reign supreme.
“The truth still exits. The truth still matters,” Jackson said. “For that reason, the dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.”
To reiterate, no one who was anti-Trump and lied to congress has been sentenced. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, and former CIA Director John Brennan have yet to be brought up on lying charges despite evidence that they did. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe just had the investigation into his own lying dropped.
Prosecutors had asked previously that Stone be sentenced up to nine years in prison for his non-violent crimes. The prosecutors wrote that Stone “obstructed Congress’ investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lied under oath, and tampered with a witness.” Further, when he was indicted, “he displayed contempt for this Court and the rule of law.”
Stone displayed contempt likely because his house was raided early in the morning to make his arrest more dramatic. CNN was tipped off to the raid and had cameras set up outside so the nation could watch police forcefully arrest a 67-year-old man who had been charged with non-violent crimes.
The Department of Justice pushed back on the harsh recommendation, leading to the resignation of all four prosecutors on the case.
On Thursday Morning, Trump tweeted a segment from Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program that suggested the president would pardon Stone.
“President Trump could end this travesty in an instant with a pardon, and there are indications tonight that he will do that,” Carlson said in a segment on his show Wednesday night. Carlson also in that segment called Stone’s prosecution “a shocking insult to the American tradition of equal justice.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
Just before 2:00 a.m., Trump tweeted out the segment, but said nothing one way or the other about him pardoning Stone.
Other right-leaning commentators have called for Stone to be pardoned, including Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has also called for Stone to be pardoned.