“The truth still exists. The truth still matters. Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t — his belligerence, his pride in his own lies — are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy,” Jackson said, before delivering the sentence.
Stone, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, was charged in the wake of the Robert Mueller III investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election. He was initially arrested on January 25, 2019, facing seven counts stemming from the probe. Stone was convicted of all seven counts he faced — one count of obstruction, five counts of making false statements, and one count of witness tampering — on November 15 of the same year.
As The Daily Beast notes, Stone will not immediately go to prison, as Judge Jackson weighs a motion from his defense seeking a retrial. Stone’s team contends that his conviction was tainted by political bias on the grounds that the jury’s foreperson had expressed anti-Trump sentiments on social media.
Trump has frequently railed against Stone’s prosecution on Twitter, asking why former FBI Director James Comey and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — his opponent in the 2016 election — among others, are not facing similar charges for “lying.”
“If Roger Stone was indicted for lying to Congress, what about the lying done by Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Lisa Page & lover, Baker and soooo many others? What about Hillary to FBI and her 33,000 deleted Emails? What about Lisa & Peter’s deleted texts & Wiener’s laptop? Much more!” Trump tweeted the day after Stone’s arrest.
Prior to today’s sentencing, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson called on Trump to pardon Stone.
“Stone’s prosecution was designed in part to confirm the fantasy that Democrats have constructed to explain the outcome of the 2016 election. His conviction helps their case. In other words, if the Russia collusion story was a hoax, and it most certainly was a hoax, then why is Roger Stone going to prison for his role in it?” Carlson asked.
Trump recently granted executive clemency to 11 individuals, among them former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whom he’d previously “fired” on his reality series, Celebrity Apprentice, in 2010. Blagojevich was impeached, removed from office, and later convicted of criminal charges of corruption for soliciting bribes for political appointment, including placement in the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated when he was elected president.