Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence President Donald Trump’s former campaign aide Roger Stone to serve between seven and nine years in jail after he was found guilty last year on seven counts of obstructing a congressional investigation, making numerous false statements to Congress, and witness tampering during the Russia investigation.
Stone was indicted (pdf) in January 2019 and found guilty in November of providing false statements to the House Intelligence Committee about communications having to do with WikiLeaks, in which he allegedly sought to learn more about when the organization would publish damaging emails about 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
He was also found guilty of obstructing a congressional investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election and witness tampering. He is due to face sentencing by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Feb. 20.
In a sentencing filing Monday (pdf), prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington urged to the court to consider a sentence of 87 to 108 months, which it said was “consistent with the applicable advisory guidelines” and “would accurately reflect the seriousness of his crimes and promote respect for the law.”
The lengthy sentence would “send the message that tampering with a witness, obstructing justice, and lying in the context of a congressional investigation on matters of critical national importance are not crimes to be taken lightly,” prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington wrote.
“Foreign election interference is the ‘most deadly adversar[y] of republican government,'” prosecutors wrote, quoting Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 68.
“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.”
“Roger Stone obstructed Congress’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, lied under oath, and tampered with a witness. And when his crimes were revealed by the indictment in this case, he displayed contempt for this court and the rule of law. For that, he should be punished in accord with the advisory guidelines,” they added.
Stone’s defense has maintained that the 67-year-old did not have an actual inside connection with WikiLeaks and that there is “reasonable doubt” that he lied to congressional lawmakers. They have asked the court to avoid sending him to jail, KPLR reported.
“In the end, the investigations yielded no evidence of the involvement of any American with the Russian government or any agent operating on its behalf to interfere in the 2016 election. It is also undisputed that Roger Stone had nothing to do with obtaining the compromised emails or providing them to WikiLeaks,” Stone’s attorneys reportedly argued.
The Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund website, which asks members of the public to donate to legal expenses, states that Stone and his family have been “forced out of their home, used up all of their savings, and lost most of their insurance,” due to the two-year legal case.
Stone is one of several of President Trump’s associates who faced charges as a result of then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
At the time Stone was found guilty in November, President Trump said the charge was a “double standard like never seen before in the history of our country.”
“So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?” he wrote on Twitter.
Trump was himself acquitted on Feb. 5 by the Senate on two charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress regarding his alleged dealings with Ukraine, ending the third impeachment trial in U.S. history.