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last week, all four Justice Department lawyers who had prosecuted the case quit after their sentencing memorandum was withdrawn the day after Trump tweeted that it was unfair and too harsh.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.
At the same time Michael Flynn, Trump’s first National Security Advisor, was sitting in a courtroom, where among other matters a tentative date was set for his sentencing, John Bolton, the third person to occupy that position, was given the boot.
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.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s one-time campaign chair, who last week received a 47 month prison sentence from U.S. District judge T.S. Ellis in Alexandria, Va, today appeared in a DC courtroom to be sentenced by judge Amy Berman Jackson on two counts to which he pleaded last fall. Manafort sat in a wheelchair as he had during last week’s sentencing, but this time he was dressed in a dark suit and purple tie instead of a green “Alexandria Inmate” jumpsuit.
Judge Jackson sentenced Manafort to an additional 43 months, though 30 months are to run concurrently with his Virginia sentence effectively sending him to prison for seven and-a-half years.
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.