Roger Stone’s sentencing became big news when, last week, all four Justice Department lawyers who had prosecuted the case quit after their sentencing memorandum was withdrawn the day after Trump tweeted that it was unfair and too harsh. Attorney General Barr said there was no communication with the White House on the decision to intervene, and went so far as to protest (methinks too much?) that the president’s tweeting made it difficult for him to do his job. A new watered-down sentencing recommendation was produced, and signed by Assistant US Attorney John Crabb.
Asked by Judge Amy Berman Jackson whether he actually wrote the second filing, AUSA Crabb demurred saying, “I’m not at liberty to discuss the internal deliberations in DOJ.”
In the end Judge Jackson imposed a sentence of forty months, well below the seven to nine years initially recommended, but not before chastising at length both Stone and the Department of Justice.
After just six days of testimony and closing arguments the fate of Roger Stone is in the hands of the jury this morning. It was an unusual trial from the start, but who would expect anything less when the defendant has a reputation for political dirty tricks going as far back as Watergate. He famously has the image of Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, after all. Nevertheless, in spite of a courtroom full of kooks, the trial progressed in an orderly and efficient manner. I wasn’t there every day, and unfortunately missed most of the witnesses’ testimony. Politico has a good story on the trial here.
Nattily dressed in a light grey double breasted suit with black tie and pocket square, Roger Stone appeared before judge Amy Berman Jackson today for a status hearing. Unlike his last appearance where he took the stand to attempt to explain his Instagram post of a photo of the judge with cross-hairs, today’s hearing was mainly routine. A trial date of November 5 was set, and Stone was sworn to abide by the new conditions – i.e. gag order – of his release. Next status conference is April 30.
Ex-Trump campaign adviser and self-described dirty trickster Roger Stone made his first appearance yesterday before the judge in charge of his case. Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she is considering a gag order but that it wouldn’t prevent the parties from commenting about “immigration, foreign relations, or Tom Brady”.
No trial date set, but the prosecution is looking to October. Next status hearing scheduled for March 14.
A little disappointed that Stone didn’t flash the Nixon victory gesture in the courtroom, though he did for the cameras outside the courthouse.
A circus was expected but it turned out to be a routine, though well attended, fifteen minute arraignment. Stone will be back in court on Friday for a hearing before judge Amy Berman Jackson.