It’s not quite the 7-9 year sentence that federal prosecutors originally recommended in the case against longtime Trump ally Roger Stone. Nonetheless, on Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down a 40-month sentence (just over 3 years) slamming Stone for his “mind-games” and saying his behavior inspired “dismay and disgust.”
Stone, who was also Trump’s campaign adviser, was convicted of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering as he tried to stop investigators from discovering how the Trump campaign tried to use stolen Democratic documents to its benefit in 2016.
According to the New York Times, Jackson called out Stone for obstructing the congressional inquiry into whether there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, noting “nothing about this case was a joke. It wasn’t a stunt and it wasn’t a prank.”
The judge also brushed aside arguments that Stone was being targeted for standing up for the president or to give anyone else a political advantage.
“He was not prosecuted to give anyone a political advantage. He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president,” she said.
Stone’s case has drawn scrutiny as he is but one of many Trump cronies who have had to face the legal music following the rippling events of the 2016 campaign investigation.
After federal prosecutors recommended 7-9 years sentence, the president lashed out calling the situation “horrible and very unfair.”
That was when things really started to spiral out of control. The DOJ appeared to demure, saying that it planned to review the sentencing suggestion. Then, all four of the prosecutors who were handling the case against Stone withdrew from the proceedings in a shocking fallout (although they never officially said why.)
In the midst of all of this, Trump has been flexing his clemency muscle, recently granting pardons and commutations to 11 people, including some of his political allies and others who were convicted of white-collar crimes and touting himself as the “chief law enforcement officer of the country.”
What he does in Stone’s case, now that he has officially been sentenced, is still left to be seen.