President Trump and Roger Stone

Roger StoneUPDATE (2/20/2020): Roger Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison. No word if a pardon by President Trump will be made.

The media is abuzz again! President Donald Trump tweeted support for his longtime friend Roger Stone and his disappointment on federal prosecutors recommending a seven to nine-year prison sentence for Stone. President Trump also incited more speculation by congratulating Attorney General Bill Barr for looking into the case, which made people question if the Trump Administration is protecting his cronies from receiving fair and impartial justice for crimes.

Who is Roger Stone?

Roger Stone is not only a longtime friend of the President, he is also an American author, lobbyist, and political consultant. The 67-year-old is a self-proclaimed master of dark art politics. Stone briefly served as a senior commination strategist (from June to August 2015) on President Trump’s presidential campaign and has previously worked on the campaigns of other Republican politicians campaigns like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, and Bob Dole.

Roger Stone conviction

In November 2019, a jury found Mr. Stone guilty of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness, and obstructing a House investigation concerning Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russian interference in the US 2016 presidential election. Mr. Stone is the sixth former Trump associate to be convicted in cases brought forth from Robert Muller’s probe on Russian interference.

Why is Stone making headlines again?

Mr. Stone is currently awaiting sentencing, but on February 10, 2020, prosecutors recommended that Mr. Stone should be sentenced to 87 to 108 months in federal prison. That news did not go over well with President Trump. On Tuesday, the President said the sentencing was horrible and unfair. He went on the say that people from the other side committed the real crime, and nothing has happened to them. Timothy Shea, the US attorney for the District of Columbia, in a sentencing memo, wrote that Mr. Stone lied to Congress under oath, and his uncooperative conduct is against the rule of law. The prosecutors concluded that Stones’ total offense level was 29 and a “Category I.” They, therefore, recommend that Mr. Stone should be imprisoned between 87-108 months, which amounts to seven to nine years.

The Department of Justice Gets Involved

However, after Trump expressed his displeasure with the sentencing, the Department of Justice (DOJ) quickly overruled the sentencing. A memo was then issued saying that the sentence was too harsh for Stone. President Trump later thanked the attorney general, Mr. William Barr, for revoking the punishment. All four prosecutors handling Mr. Stone’s case later resigned. The decision by the DOJ to overrule the sentencing has raised concerns. Legal experts and Democrats are alleging that President Trump pressured the DOJ, which is supposed to be independent, to overrule Stone sentencing. However, while talking to the press in the White House, President Trump defended himself, saying that he did not pressure the DOJ, but was instead expressing his disappointment with the sentencing.

Mr. Stone is due to be sentenced on February 20, 2020, and people are waiting to see how Judge Amy Berman will respond. Will she ignore the revised memo and follow the original recommended sentence, or will she give the prosecutor time to review the sentence? Another big question is, will the President eventually pardon Stone?

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

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