Washington, 20 February 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Roger Stone, a former aide and friend of US President Donald Trump, was on Thursday sentenced to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress, obstruction and witness intimidation, US media reported.
US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down the sentence after weeks of infighting in the case that roiled the US Justice Department and sparked allegations of interference by Trump.
Stone, who worked on the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, was found guilty on seven charges last year.
He was accused of being a conduit to WikiLeaks, which had obtained emails from Hillary Clinton’s team – allegedly hacked by Russian operatives – that were then leaked and used to discredit the Democratic candidate for president and bolster Trump’s campaign.
Prosecutors last week asked for a seven-to-nine-year jail sentence for Stone, prompting an outburst from Trump denouncing the recommendation as too harsh.
Thereafter, the Justice Department changed the sentencing recommendation, asking for “far less” than the initial request.
The four prosecutors then resigned from the case, in an apparent protest, and Attorney General William Barr said Trump’s tweets about ongoing cases being handled by the Justice Department were making it “impossible” for him to do his job.
Trump kept up his social media posts and on Thursday shared a clip from Fox News that suggested he was leaning towards pardoning Stone, following a series of pardons the president already offered this week.
A self-described “dirty trickster,” the 67-year-old Stone is an eccentric, long-time Republican political operative, going back to the 1970s.