Law & the Courts

Trump Labels Roger Stone’s Recommended Sentence a ‘Miscarriage of Justice,’ Hints at Possible Pardon

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for the start of his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 5, 2019. (REUTERS/ Tom Brenner )

President Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning that a prosecutor’s recommendation for at least seven years of jail time for Roger Stone was “horrible and very unfair,” and implied a potential pardon was on the cards for his longtime confidant.

“The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” the president tweeted.

Federal prosecutors said in a court filing Monday that Stone, who was found guilty in November of obstructing justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress over alleged Russian contacts, should face seven to nine years in federal prison.

“Investigations into election interference concern our national security, the integrity of our democratic processes, and the enforcement of our nation’s criminal laws. These are issues of paramount concern to every citizen of the United States. Obstructing such critical investigations thus strikes at the very heart of our American democracy,” the prosecutors stated.

While Stone’s charges stem from testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, in which prosecutors say he lied about not speaking to anyone on the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks, former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that Stone coordinated with Russia or WikiLeaks to release Democrats’ emails.

Prosecutors also explained the rationale for a heightened sentence for threatening Randy Credico, a left-wing comedian and longtime Stone confidant.

Stone told the House investigators that Credico was his source that Wikileaks had damaging information on the Clinton campaign — a claim backed up by text messages. Credico has long denied being a source of information for Stone regarding WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors highlighted text messages that Stone sent Credico during the Mueller investigation, in which he appears to threaten Credico’s safety as well as that of Credico’s dog, as proof of “the threat itself.”

Credico testified last month in Stone’s trial and requested that he only be sentenced to probation, but prosecutors disagreed.

“Stone may point to the letter submitted by Credico and argue that he did not have a serious plan to harm Credico or that Credico did not seriously believe that Stone would follow through on his threats. But Credico testified that Stone’s threats concerned him because he was worried that Stone’s words, if repeated in public, might make ‘other people get ideas,’” the court filing reads. “In any event, it is the threat itself, not the likelihood of carrying out the threat, that triggers the enhancement.”

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