Sentencing

Roger Stone Deserves a Lighter Sentence, but Not Because He Is Trump's Buddy

A prison sentence of seven to nine years is excessive for nonviolent process crimes aimed at concealing legal behavior. 

|

This week President Donald Trump and his appointees at the Justice Department intervened in the sentencing of Roger Stone, a longtime Trump crony who was convicted last November of obstructing a congressional investigation, lying to a congressional committee, and witness tampering. Yesterday, the day after four prosecutors assigned to the case recommended a sentence of seven to nine years, Timothy Shea, the interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, overrode them, suggesting "a sentence of incarceration far less" than the one originally proposed.

That reversal, which came after Trump called the original recommendation "horrible and very unfair," is unseemly and smacks of legal favoritism. At the same time, a prison sentence of seven to nine years is disproportionate given the nature and consequences of Stone's crimes.

The decision to recommend a more lenient sentence for Stone reportedly involved Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and officials in Attorney General William Barr's office as well as Shea and his chief of staff. After Shea filed the amended sentencing memo, the four original prosecutors resigned from the case, apparently in protest, and one of them left the Justice Department altogether.

Not only is Stone a Trump pal, but his crimes were aimed at insulating the president from embarrassment and scandal related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The new sentencing recommendation therefore looks an awful lot like an attempt to tilt the scales of justice for personal and political reasons.

"This is a horrible and very unfair situation," Trump tweeted early yesterday morning in response to the original sentencing recommendation. "The real crimes were on the other side, [and] nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!"

Later that day, Shea filed the amended sentencing memorandum. Today Trump thanked Barr for "taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought" but denied discussing Stone's case with the Justice Department. Although Justice Department officials insist they were not following the president's orders, the coincidence is troubling. And while Trump has the legal authority to override prosecutorial decisions, such meddling compromises the Justice Department's independence and creates the appearance that the president's friends can expect special treatment when they break the law.

Having said all that, I still think there are sound reasons to question the original sentencing recommendation. A prison sentence of seven to nine years is excessive for nonviolent process crimes aimed at concealing legal behavior.

Stone's lies to the House Intelligence Committee and his dogged attempts to dissuade a potential witness from contradicting those lies were all related to the embarrassing emails that Russian hackers stole from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, in 2016. Stone was excited about the potential political benefits of those emails, which WikiLeaks obtained and began to release in July 2016. Although his attempts to indirectly contact WikiLeaks about the emails were mostly fruitless, he presented himself to Trump campaign officials as a man with inside information, and they seemed to buy it.

There was nothing illegal about any of that. But it was still inconvenient for a president who rejects both the idea that Russia helped him win the election and the charge that his campaign welcomed the assistance. Stone, who testified voluntarily before the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017, also seemed to think he would make the president look bad if he avoided answering its questions about WikiLeaks and the purloined emails by invoking the Fifth Amendment's protection against compelled self-incrimination. Instead he lied, repeatedly and flagrantly, about his contacts with people he thought could relay messages to WikiLeaks, about his communications with Trump campaign officials, and about the emails and text messages that documented those interactions.

Having lied, Stone repeatedly urged one of his WikiLeaks go-betweens, radio host Randy Credico, to back up his story or avoid testifying. When Credico received a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee, he invoked the Fifth Amendment, just as Stone had suggested. But he later cooperated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian election meddling and testified against Stone during his trial.

Stone did not stumble into his crimes or get into legal trouble due to a momentary lapse of judgment. As the prosecutors pointed out in the original sentencing memorandum, he "knew exactly what he was doing," and he did it for more than a year, reaffirming in an unsolicited December 2018 letter to the House Intelligence Committee that everything in his testimony was true. Since he easily could have avoided prosecution by declining to testify or by telling the truth, Stone has no one to blame but himself for his current predicament.

But that does not mean a sentence of seven years or more is an appropriate punishment for Stone's reckless mendacity. As Mueller's report showed, there is no persuasive evidence that the Trump campaign's hankering for useful dirt on Clinton ever crossed the line into an illegal conspiracy with a foreign government or any other sort of crime. When Stone lied, he was committing crimes, but he was not concealing any.

"Because of Stone's conduct," the original sentencing memo says, "the House
Intelligence Committee never received important documents, never heard from Credico (who pled the Fifth), and never heard from [Jerome] Corsi [another WikiLeaks intermediary]….The Committee's report even wrongly stated that there was no evidence contradicting Stone's claim that all his information about WikiLeaks was from publicly available sources." Yet Stone's overtures to WikiLeaks, which came out anyway, were neither consequential nor criminal.

The original memorandum also argues that Stone qualifies for a sentencing enhancement because his witness tampering included threats of violence. "I'm going to take that dog away from you," he told Credico in an April 2018 email exchange about Stone's congressional testimony, referring to Credico's tiny Coton de Tulear. "Not a fucking thing you can do about it either, because you are a weak, broke, piece of shit." Later that day, Stone added, "I am so ready. Let's get it on. Prepare to die, cocksucker." Yet Credico himself said these comments were typical Stone bombast that he did not perceive as genuinely threatening. "I never in any way felt that Stone himself posed a direct physical threat to me or my dog," he said.

The prosecutors also thought Stone deserved a sentencing enhancement for various public comments he made after he was indicted, some of which violated U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's orders. But as Shea notes in the amended sentencing memorandum, "it is unclear to what extent the defendant's obstructive conduct actually prejudiced the government at trial."

The second memorandum suggests that a sentence of seven to nine years is excessive for nonviolent crimes—a position that may surprise drug offenders serving prison terms that long or longer for peaceful transactions with consenting adults. The enhancements recommended by the first memorandum, Shea says, "more than double the defendant's total offense level and, as a result, disproportionately escalate the defendant's sentencing exposure to an offense level of 29, which typically applies in cases involving violent offenses, such as armed robbery, not obstruction cases."

The new memorandum also suggests that Judge Jackson, who is scheduled to sentence Stone a week from tomorrow, "should consider the defendant's advanced age [67], health, personal circumstances, and lack of criminal history in fashioning an appropriate sentence." While "the defendant committed serious offenses and deserves a sentence of incarceration," it says, "a sentence of between 87 [and] 108 months' imprisonment…could be considered excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances."

Regardless of its motivation, the revised memorandum is admirably measured and fair-minded, noting that prosecutors have a duty to pursue justice, not simply to clobber defendants with the heaviest penalties the law allows. It would substantially improve the quality of justice in this country if prosecutors more often took that approach with defendants who are not the president's buddies.

Advertisement

NEXT: Arkansas School Resource Officer Suspended After Video Showed Him Choking Student

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. …the four original prosecutors resigned from the case, apparently in protest, and one of them left the Justice Department altogether.

    Okay.

    1. 3 of the 4 were on Team Mueller.

      1. Picked and overseen by a Republican who was chosen and overseen by a Republican, so . . . godless commies?

        Would it redeem any of them in your eyes if it were demonstrated he had a current Stormfront account?

        1. You seem to be more familiar with Stormfront than the rest of us.

        2. It’s like you think all republicans are exactly the same. Because you’re an idiot.

          1. Jesse, I was going to say that. I guess that just adds to the argument that I should skip putting my kids to bed and just go straight to Reason.

        3. “…so . . . godless commies?>

          Why do lefty ignoramuses lie so transparently?

        4. “But Mueller is a Republican!”

          The fact that I’ve been seeing a lot of retreats to this gobsmackingly stupid talking point lately means Trump is winning more than anyone could have expected. Good night, the bastard is actually doing it.

        5. Poor Hicklib doesn’t know what establishment means.

    2. I think you mean “great”. Well, it would be great if all 4 left DOJ

  2. “Not only is Stone a Trump pal, but his crimes were aimed at insulating the president from embarrassment and scandal related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The new sentencing recommendation therefore looks an awful lot like an attempt to tilt the scales of justice for personal and political reasons.”

    We have direct evidence McCabe, Clapper, Comey, etc lied to congress and therefore obstructed Congress… none of them even were charged. I would say the scales of justice are titled towards entrenched bureaucrats. Even 2 years is probably too much for Stone. His lies didnt actually impede anything. Papadopolous got 14 days for his sentence.

    Anyone who thinks the 7-9 year request wasnt the political act is insane.

    1. “And while Trump has the legal authority to override prosecutorial decisions, such meddling compromises the Justice Department’s independence and creates the appearance that the president’s friends can expect special treatment when they break the law.”

      So we are ignoring reality now and the fact that Trump associates haven been treated more harshly?

      Again, how many government actors have been given a complete pass? How do you ignore this?!?

    2. Until there are indictments for the people that falsified the FISA warrant to spy on a candidate running for the highest office in the land, I won’t shed a tear for Lady Justice if Stone walks with a complete, unambiguous pardon.

      1. I’d settle for a little rational treatment of the events by Reason at this point.

    3. Andrew McCabe’s lawyer was on NPR this afternoon whining about this shit. He actually wants people to believe that state bureaucrats tied to Democratic politicians are as objective as Solomon.

      1. Leftists must pretend to objectivity, as they don’t have confidence in their positions on merit.
        It’s a very consistent tic

  3. …reaffirming in an unsolicited December 2018 letter to the House Intelligence Committee that everything in his testimony was true.

    This is the best part. I encourage everyone to lie to the federal government as often as they can get away with it.

    1. The federal government never lies to *us*, right?

    1. Those making 5 times the median American household income hit hardest.

  4. …Russian interference in the 2016 election…

    …Russia helped him win the election…

    …an illegal conspiracy with a foreign government…

  5. I’m pretty sure I’m looking at the libertarian argument in favor of prison sentences for procedural crimes stemming from legal behavior.

    To be sure, the libertarian argument in favor of jailing people for procedural violations in covering up someone’s innocence could be much worse.

    1. “Procedural violations”?

      That makes it sound as if perjury and witness tampering are minor offences.

      Stone also has a history of threatening people, including the judge presiding at his trial (namely, the episode of February 18, 2019, where Stone posted on Instagram a photo of the federal judge overseeing his case with what resembled rifle scope crosshairs next to her head).

      1. You should learn what the legal definition of a threat actually entails.

        And yes, crimes to catch people in a process for which no other crime is committed is a procedural crime.

        I think you need a dictionary.

        1. @JesseAz: “You should learn what the legal definition of a threat actually entails.

          Then I look forward to you educating me as to what that “legal definition…actually entails.

          However, the fact you haven’t recited it already suggests you have no idea what it is.

          @JesseAz: “…crimes to catch people in a process for which no other crime is committed is a procedural crime.

          So now you’re insinuating that those sorts of crimes are merely triflingly MINOR offences.

          FYI, the purpose of crimes like witness tampering and perjury are to protect the judicial system and the system of congressional oversight of the other two branches from those who would try to corrupt or avoid them.

          Reminder: If Comey or McCabe were ever to be charged by the DOJ chances are the kind of crimes they would be indicted for would be what you would classify as “procedural violations” of a “non-criminal investigation”.

          Should they ever be convicted should THEY be given mere slaps on the wrist also? Or should they have the book thrown at them?

          I look forward to your response.

          1. Stone is a private citizen and Comey was the head of the FBI. Nice false equivalence ya got there.

            1. @Ryan (formally HTT): “Stone is a private citizen and Comey was the head of the FBI.

              Are you suggesting that perjury and witness tampering are acceptable behaviour (or just less serious) for a private citizen but UNacceptable with the head of the FBI?

              I’m sure the Mafia would love that rule!

              I also wonder if you would be saying that if it was Obama (or HRC) in the WH rather than Trump?

              1. No school post shifting. You completely ignored what he said. Probably because you know he’s right

              2. You don’t have to wonder. Eric Holder lied under oath and never paid the price either.

                It’s almost as if Trumps entire presidency was brought on by the blatant corruption of the previous administration, and they continue to fight these same corrupt assholes today.

          2. The FBI contributed to the construction of a fake dossier that they used to obtain FISA warrants which allowed them to infiltrate a presidential campaign. Let’s not forget Crossfire Hurricane vs. Midterm Exam the names alone indicate the FBI’s intent. And we are supposed to defend the justice systems false investigation in individuals involved?

            1. Sovereign: “The FBI contributed to the construction of a fake dossier that they used to obtain FISA warrants which allowed them to infiltrate a presidential campaign.

              Then why has nobody been charged by the DOJ? William Barr runs the DOJ; and the FBI is part of the DOJ. Trump is his boss. Why have they done nothing?

              1. Probably because they know that they’d get trashed for it, even by libertarian magazines that would ostensibly applaud firing bureaucrats for overreach.

      2. “(namely, the episode of February 18, 2019, where Stone posted on Instagram a photo of the federal judge overseeing his case with what resembled rifle scope crosshairs next to her head).”

        Gee, were you triggered when Palin ran ads with crosshairs on certain congressional districts?
        Your ‘safe space’ is off to the left. Far left.

      3. “”That makes it sound as if perjury and witness tampering are minor offences.””

        Perjury is minor enough that democrat senators did remove Clinton from office.

        1. did not remove Clinton.

        2. And Clinton’s perjury was intended to cover up behavior that he was involved in a civil trial over. That judge (perversely appointed by Clinton) is the one who found him guilty of perjury, fined him and cost him his law license,but did NOT send him to jail.

          And even at that, Democrats refused to support HIS impeachment claiming it was all about consentual sex.

          So let’s keep things in perspective, did Stone lie? Probably so, was it to cover up a crime or commit fraud on a court to avoid losing a civil case? No

          Should Clinton have gone to jail? No
          Should Stone go to jail? No

          So, let

      4. That makes it sound as if perjury and witness tampering are minor offences.

        Take it up with Sullum. He’s the one that called them ‘process crimes’.

        Or are you making some idiotic distinction between process crimes and procedural crimes?

  6. Yesterday, the day after four prosecutors assigned to the case recommended a sentence of seven to nine years, Timothy Shea, the interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, overrode them, suggesting “a sentence of incarceration far less” than the one originally proposed.

    So what if some lawyers “recommend” and “suggest” sentences. Imposition is up to the case’s judge, isn’t it?

  7. Oh bullshit. The recommendation change was worked out a week before Trump’s tweet. The rat bastard resistance prosecutors decided on their own to ignore it which was why they were overridden by the DOJ.

    1. IceTrey: “The recommendation change was worked out a week before Trump’s tweet.

      That the DOJ’s line. Nobody but Trump’s base believes that–including the four prosecutors involved in the case. Which was why they resigned or withdrew from the case.

      The reality is that Barr is Trump’s toady.

      IceTrey: “…rat bastard resistance prosecutors…

      On what grounds are you voicing that smear? What have those four done that makes them “resistance prosecutors”?

      1. So you’re the new liberal retard Code Blue sent over?

        Be honest, do you think 9 years is sufficient for obstruction of a non criminal investigation, which the wikileaks pathways ended up being?

        Reminder, Papadopolous got 14 days. Comey, McCabe, Clapper all were not charged despite being sent over to the DOJ for charges by the IG.

        As far as your other ignorance, 3 of the 4 attorneys that left were from Team Mueller. It was a last ditch effort to try to get something on Trump.

        1. JesseAz: “So you’re the new liberal retard Code Blue sent over?

          Interesting. Rather than try to rebut my arguments you prefer to fire off ad hom insults. I take it that you CAN’T rebut them.

          JesseAz: “…do you think 9 years is sufficient for obstruction of a non criminal investigation…”

          FYI, perjury and witness intimation are criminal charges in themselves.

          Also, the sentencing recommendation was for SEVEN-to-nine years. I have no problem with nine. But I also think 7 years would also suffice.

          So what about you? I take you don’t like either 7 or 9. So just how long so you think Stone should be sent to prison for?

          JesseAz: “Reminder, Papadopolous got 14 days.

          Reminder, Papadopolous PLED guilty. Stone was CONVICTED by a jury. Meaning Papadopolous cooperated & got a plea bargain whereas Stone did not.

          Those who cooperate or show contrition tend to get lighter sentences than those who don’t. (You only have to look at the college admissions scandal. Those who cooperated got a slap on the wrist, those who didn’t got the book thrown at them.)

          Moreover, AFAIK Papadopolous was only charged with perjury. Stone was convicted of THREE different sets of charges, one of which was multiple counts of perjury and another was witness tampering. Plus he arguably tried to do some MORE tampering during the trial when he posted that Instagram pic of the judge.

          JesseAz: “Comey, McCabe, Clapper all were not charged despite being sent over to the DOJ for charges by the IG.

          Reminder: William Barr is the guy in charge of the DOJ. Trump is his boss. Why don’t you ask THEM why they’re going light on Comey, McCabe, et al?

          JesseAz: “3 of the 4 attorneys that left were from Team Mueller.

          Reminder: Mueller was a Republican appointed by a Republican (Rosenstein) who himself was appointed by a Republican (Trump).

          Are you perchance insinuating that Republicans are corrupt?

          1. “Reminder: Mueller was a Republican appointed by a Republican (Rosenstein) who himself was appointed by a Republican (Trump).”

            This is the line that is consistently used in bad faith to dismiss criticism of the establishment. No one here cares about your MSNBC talking points, your simple minded red vs blue will not go far here.

            1. I think the reason that people have brought up that Mueller was a Republican is because Trump made statements such as this one: “Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? “

              1. I have no interest in defending Trump tweets. Their only purpose is to make libs cry. And it works every time.

            2. @Ryan (formally HTT): “This is the line that is consistently used in bad faith to dismiss criticism of the establishment.

              FYI, Donald Trump is now commander-in-chief of the establishment and has been since January 2017. His appointees run places like the DOJ and State. Yet you and others keep acting as if Trump is just an innocent victim of sinister secret forces working in league with one another. Trump himself now runs the place. He controls what the government does yet you and others keep having to make up excuses, usually involving some nebulous conspiracy.

              When it isn’t DOJ attorneys working against him it’s the FBI. Or Pentagon generals. Or somebody else.

              Obama had no trouble running that same establishment. Nor did the two Bushes, Clinton, or Reagan, Yet Trump is apparently has enemies working against him INSIDE the US government than work overseas for Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Taliban combined.

              @Ryan (formally HTT): “No one here cares about your MSNBC talking points…

              Naturally. You prefer getting YOUR talking points from Fox News.

              1. Trump post impeachment is ridding himself of dozens of Obama holdovers. And they’re all kicking and screaming.

                Imagine what the media would do if this happened pre-impeachment…. They’d be yelling for more impeachment!

                Oh, wait. They are. Because betas gonna beta.

          2. So, you think because they were appointed by a “Republican” we can’t suspect them of bias? Do you consider that a logical argument. Please show the average sentencing for the same crimes that Stone was convicted of and compare them to Stone’s. And please explain why you should be punished more if convicted by a jury, isn’t it your right to demand the prosecutor prove your innocence? So you should be punished harsher for expecting to actually have access to your constitutionally insured rights?

            1. soldiermedic76: “So, you think because they were appointed by a ‘Republican’ we can’t suspect them of bias?

              Trump keeps telling everybody that he appoints only the “best people”. Are you doubting his word?

              soldiermedic76: “Do you consider that a logical argument.

              Rather more logical than believing that the entire US government—a government which Republicans control—is out to get to get Trump. That’s called paranoia.

              soldiermedic76: “Please show the average sentencing for the same crimes that Stone was convicted of and compare them to Stone’s.

              I don’t see you showing that 7-9 years for Stone’s crimes is UNfair in comparison to the average sentencing for the same crimes. Can’t you be bothered?

              That said, the maximum sentence for a single perjury count is 5 years; and Stone has multiple counts out against him. Obstructing an official proceeding (another charge he was convicted of) has a maximum of 5 years jail. As for witness tampering, that is punishable by TWENTY years in jail.

              You do the math, sunshine.

              By that yardstick, 7-9 years for Stone for ALL the counts he was convicted of is comparatively lenient.

              soldiermedic76: “And please explain why you should be punished more if convicted by a jury…

              It’s the way the US runs its justice system. A plea bargain gets a lighter sentence than if you try to fight it out in court but lose. I don’t agree with it but that is the system which Congress and successive administrations, both Democrat and Republican, have set up.

              What do you think is going on now with the college admissions scandal? Those who got a plea bargain got off lightly. In contrast to Lori O’Loughlin who is likely to have the book thrown at her (should she be convicted).

              soldiermedic76: “…isn’t it your right to demand the prosecutor prove your innocence?

              FYI, prosecutors prove GUILT, not innocence.

              (If it was Hillary or Comey on trial would you be demanding DOJ prosecutors prove their INNOCENCE?)

              soldiermedic76: “So you should be punished harsher for expecting to actually have access to your constitutionally insured rights?

              If you object to the plea bargain system I look forward to you lobbying your congressman or woman to change it. They’re the ones who set it up. They’re the ones who can change it. Just don’t expect it to happen any time soon.

              1. “…If you object to the plea bargain system I look forward to you lobbying your congressman or woman to change it…”

                Are those goal-posts heavy? Need a hand shoving them around?
                Don’t bother asking; bullshitters get to carry their own ‘stuff’.

              2. If it was Hillary I would expect the same. Proving guilt. Which is exactly what I was saying. The plea bargain system that results in harsher sentences for those who demand prosecutors do their jobs destroys that very concept.
                Asking for the average would demonstrate rather or not the sentence is fair. If it is far outside the norm then it isn’t fair. What a concept.
                You claim these were Trump appointees in the same breath you defend them as being Mueller’s people because Mueller I’d a Republican. This is not self evident. Has Trump appointed every single DoJ lawyer? Or are the majority left over from the past? Why it is the latter. So your argument is not factorially based. Nor are your defenses even remotely logical. You claim you defend innocent until proven guilty then support the idea of punishing people who ask for their right to a trial by jury and the presumption of innocence. You make a ln argument to authority (Mueller was a Republican and Trump is CiC so therefore these are his people therefore we shouldn’t question their motive).
                You list maximum sentencing to defend the sentence recommendation but don’t provide evidence for how often defendant’s actually get the maximum sentence. Basically you are cherry picking data to confirm the case to your bias. You are not nearly as intellectually honest as you may believe you are. If the maximum sentence is 5 years but 99.9% never get more than 1 year then 5 years would only apply to the most egregious cases. Stone is accused of lying about a non-crime. You mention the threat but the victim of the threat said that he never felt threatened by Stone and knew he wasn’t serious.
                As for the average, it appears it is 12-24 months but the data seems incomplete. But there is no minimum. If it is 24 months, even if you charge them as consevutive sentences, it would appear 48 months would be more justifiable then 9 years.

                1. You do a very good job on this sort of BS, but I wonder if it is not often wasted on such pathetic victims of TDS as Stephen54321.
                  Whoever that is has shown up specifically to argue this point and seems to be using nothing other than talking points provided by the plethora of lefty whining sites.
                  I’m not about to argue a conspiracy here, but the focus and the idiocy of the claims seems suspect.

          3. “…Are you perchance insinuating that Republicans are corrupt?”

            No, we’re quite certain you’re a partisan bullshitter. Hint: We’ve read the crap your posting for years, and recognize it as the bullshit it is.

            1. Sevo: “Hint: We’ve read the crap your posting for years, and recognize it as the bullshit it is.

              So you read what I post. I’m honoured.

              1. “So you read what I post. I’m honoured.”

                No, we’ve read the same bullshit from other TDS victims.
                Fuck off.

      2. “…Nobody but Trump’s base believes that–including the four prosecutors involved in the case…”

        No body here is buying bullshit from the latest TDS victim.
        Fuck off; we’ve read your shit for years.

      3. The reality is that Barr is Trump’s toady.

        Wrong!

        He is Trump’s wingman– just like Eric Holder was Barack Obama’s wingman.

        Get the terms right at least.

      4. So we have to take your partisan word that the DoJ is lying? Do you have evidence that their statement of the timeline are incorrect? Other than supposition?

      5. The reality is that Barr is Trump’s toady.

        That seems to be the leftist party line. However, nobody has been able to provide me much evidence that a guy who was George Bush’s former AG would have much need or inclination to be a “toady” for Donald Trump.

      6. Actually, any one who understands how these things work already knew it was worked out in advance. Only someone trying to manufacture an impropriety where none exists could believe it was done instantly.

    2. Yup, they requested the outrageous sentence, and deliberately didn’t run it past their superiors for review, because they knew it would be rejected if reviewed.

      The sentence recommendation was clearly abusive. How is the fact that Trump agrees about that problematic?

      Even if the change in the recommendation WAS a result of Trump’s orders, what’s the problem? It would have been an appropriate order, and well within Trump’s authority to issue.

  8. I can’t get over the number of people who favor little or no jail time for “non violent offender” who were appalled that this non-violent offender was given a lighter sentencing recommendation.

    1. Yeah he was convicted in NY shouldn’t they just let him go with no bail?

  9. Since the initial recommendation was because he’s Trump’s “buddy”, then that is a perfectly good reason to have it reduced.

    1. Let’s see how Judge Jackson responds to the belated clinger maneuvering in this case. Sending a message disapproving politicized prosecutorial conduct — and indicating it is not to be rewarded — might be an important consideration.

      Either way, Roger Stone has favored stripes in the past . . . let’s see how he likes his next striped ensemble, during his richly deserved time in the barrel.

      1. It is amazing how much you want to imprison your political enemies.

        It is not amazing how fucking dumb you are.

        1. Arty is a prime example of why I want to divest this country of it’s progtards.

          1. What we need is a new virus. Highly contagious, but deadly to only progressives / socialists / communists. Probably possible since it has a different pattern of brain use.

      2. Roger Stone will be pardoned.

        1. Good. Reason will get a couple more mealy-mouthed weeks out of articles whining about it.

        2. Yes, he will. That’s why the prosecutors feel safe making political theater out of his sentencing. They know he won’t actually serve it.

      3. “Let’s see how Judge Jackson responds to the belated clinger maneuvering in this case…”

        The clinger maneuvering began about the time you started posting here, asshole bigot.

      4. I assume the judge wipes and cleans his ass better than you, and doesn’t worry about clingers.

        If not it’s still not my business.

      5. And now we hear from the Neanderthal Libertarians for the Prison Industrial Complex, Libertarians for Imprisoning Political Dissidents, and the ever-bitter Libertarians for Out of Control Prosecutiors cabal of slack-jawed Stalinist clingers.

        Bitter holdovers from the bloody 20th Century Gulags and Death Camps, they fear their coming replacement by the forces of progress and justice

      6. Given all the info now dropping about jury members in the Stone case if the judge has more than 2 neurons rubbing together in her head she’ll go with the reduced recommendation.

          1. The jury foreperson is a Democratic activist who routinely posted anti-Trump statements on Social Media. Not sure how the defense lawyers didn’t protest her inclusion on the jury.
            I know this being from FNC many of our frequent flyer trolls will attack the source rather then the information in the story.
            https://www.foxnews.com/politics/roger-stone-juror-justice-department-anti-trump-social-media

            1. The judge should be disbarred for the way she’s handled this case

            2. She wasn’t merely an activist prior to the trial, she tweeted about Roger Stone himself during the trial, and when presented with evidence of such in Stone’s motion for a mistrial after it was finished, the judge basically went naaahhhh, it’s fine.

  10. I figure such sentencing recommendations are usually a way for prosecutors to exact retribution against defendants with the effrontery to go to trial instead of pleading out as God intended them to; and so generally think they are too severe. In this case those seeking to exact retribution also to have an axe to grind against our President and his friends. So I think Shea was right to do what he did, especially if the line prosecutors were going back on a deal made with him.

    1. The average child repost receives between 3 to 7 years. And yet reason claims Stone having his sentence reduced by the DOJ brass is solely due to his friendship with Trump. “creates the appearance that the president’s friends can expect special treatment when they break the law.” The only appearance here is the Mueller crew seeking out vengeance.

      1. Rapist. Stupid phone.

    2. Stephen54321 pretty much argues exactly that above. You should be punished for expecting to be able to demand to use your constitutional guaranteed rights.

  11. “…but his crimes were aimed at insulating the president from embarrassment and scandal related to Russian interference in the 2016 election…”

    Are you STILL peddling ‘the russkis did it!!!!’?
    BTW, I have inside information on the 3rd guy on the grassy knoll I’m sure will interest you, along with details on Chevon buying the rights to that 100MPG carburettor!

  12. Not only is Stone a Trump pal, but his crimes were aimed at insulating the president from embarrassment and scandal related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    *Squints*

    There was no Russian interference in the 2016 election.

  13. At the same time, a prison sentence of seven to nine years is disproportionate given the nature and consequences of Stone’s crimes.

    7-9 years was the period proposed by the guidelines issued by the US Sentencing Commission.

    As to whether it was justified, Stone has a history of threatening people (eg Bernie Spitzer); and course there was the episode on February 18, 2019, after he had been charged, where Stone posted on Instagram a photo of the federal judge overseeing his case, Amy Berman Jackson, with what resembled rifle scope crosshairs next to her head.

    How are we, let alone Judge Jackson, supposed to take that? As a joke? Or as yet another attempt at intimidation, this time of the judiciary?

    1. Guidelines called for 3-4 years, but the attorneys upped the sentencing with enhancements (discretion of the prosecutor).

      No non partisan dumbfuck believes Stone should get 9 years for arguing about a non crime.

      1. JesseAz: “Guidelines called for 3-4 years

        AFAIK the guidelines were for 7-9 years. If you know otherwise then please do post a link for the file/article you got that 3-4 years info from.

        JesseAz: “o non partisan dumbfuck believes Stone should get 9 years for arguing about a non crime.

        FYI, the recommendation was fpr 7-9 years. What about seven years. Is that too harsh?

        1. “FYI, the recommendation was fpr 7-9 years. What about seven years. Is that too harsh?”

          Yes. To ask that question suggests you’ve got serious psychological issues. Stone did little more than what Adam Schiff did when he lied to the public about Trump’s dialogue with Zelensky.

          They both made up shit to secure and embellish their political agendas. It’s small potatoes shit and, in context, barely worth a weekend in jail.

        2. “FYI, the recommendation was fpr 7-9 years. What about seven years. Is that too harsh?”

          Is that what the prosecution is suggesting for your conviction for “Public Stupidity”?
          I’d go for 20.

          1. Reshufflex: “Stone did little more than what Adam Schiff did when he lied to the public about Trump’s dialogue with Zelensky.

            Really? I take it you’re unaware is perjury is lying UNDER OATH. When was Schiff under oath?

            Stone was also convicted of witness tampering. Is that what you’re also accusing Schiff of?

            Reshufflex: “It’s small potatoes shit and, in context, barely worth a weekend in jail.

            First of all, FYI perjury was the main charge in Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Because you think perjury such “small potatoes shit”, are you suggesting that Republicans should never have impeached Clinton for it?

            Secondly, are you suggesting that people who lie under oath in a court room or to Congress (perjury), or who try to intimidate congressional or court witnesses or prevent them from testifying (witness tampering) are such “small potatoes” crimes they should only receive a slap on the wrist?

            1. “…Secondly, are you suggesting that people who lie under oath in a court room or to Congress (perjury), or who try to intimidate congressional or court witnesses or prevent them from testifying (witness tampering) are such “small potatoes” crimes they should only receive a slap on the wrist?”

              Take it up with Bubba, shitstain. We’re tired of lefty TDS victims.

              1. Sevo: “We’re tired of lefty TDS victims.

                And yet you made an effort to respond, albeit with an ad hom insult. Obviously, I must have struck a raw nerve. I look forward to your next pearl of wisdom.

                1. “…Obviously, I must have struck a raw nerve…”
                  You flatter yourself through stupidity; you are worth no more than you’ve gotten from me so far and probably a good bit less; fucking lefty ignoramuses are a penny a dozen.

                  “I look forward to your next pearl of wisdom.”
                  Good. Fuck off and die where your stink won’t bother anyone, shitpile.

            2. You take it wrong. Of course Schiff was under oath, as are all congressfolk. Indeed, Schiff’s mandatory oath per US Code is objectively paramount on the score of things to the one Stone voluntarily took. Moot point, however, as Schiff’s lying is protected by the speech/debate clause.

              Nope. I drew a parallel in degree of their respective wrongs. Try thinking outside of your ideological box, and you’ll be less confused.

              Setting aside the ethical, social, political and legal differences between a president perjuring himself v. citizen x, no, I would not have impeached Clinton on perjury alone.

              Go reread what I wrote. Pay particular attention to the “in context” words; they qualify and cabin my statements.

              1. Edit: “between their respective”

              2. Reshufflex: “You take it wrong. Of course Schiff was under oath, as are all congressfolk.

                You’re confused, Reshufflex.

                FYI, that oath you refer to is to protect and defend the Constitution, NOT to tell the truth. (If politicians were under an oath to ALWAYS tell the truth every one of them would be in jail for perjury. And so would Trump! Presidents also take an oath at their inauguration. An oath to protect and defend the Constitution.)

                1. I replied below. Regrets.

                2. “…You’re confused, Reshufflex…”
                  You.
                  Are.
                  Full.
                  Of.
                  Shit.

            3. “In tampering cases, a guidelines enhancement calls for a drastic increase in the sentence if the defendant threatened the witness with physical injury. This drove Stone’s “offense level” from 21 to 29 on the guidelines grid, so even though he is a first offender (offense history “Category I” in guidelines-speak), his recommended sentence zoomed to 90 to 108 months — instead of 37 to 46 months, as it would have been at offense level 21 (i.e., without the threats).”

              The issue with the use of the “threat” as a basis for increasing the recommended sentence is that the person supposedly threaten is on record as not taking as a threat. In fact, it was dismissed as “Stone being Stone” bombastic.

              So the enhanced sentence recommendation was not warranted. It is no coincidence that the new recommended sentence is pretty much the standard one, between 37 to 46 months in recognition of that fact.

    2. “…As to whether it was justified, Stone has a history of threatening people (eg Bernie Spitzer);..”
      You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    3. “…How are we, let alone Judge Jackson, supposed to take that? As a joke? Or as yet another attempt at intimidation, this time of the judiciary?…”

      Folks, here’s an illustration showing clearly how the impeachment was nothing other than partisan grandstanding, and how the Ds are making Trump’s re-election more and more likely.
      A FoT gets a jail sentence far out of proportion to the ‘crime’, gets a reduction and jackasses like our newest TDS victim try like hell to inflate some trivial action into something worth more than a second look.
      Shitstain, YOU and others as idiotically deranged are the reason you’re looking at Trump 2020; you own it, you pathetic piece of shit.

    4. New sock troll 54321, your citation fell off.

  14. “…the embarrassing emails that Russian hackers stole from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, in 2016. ”
    Never proven, and most likely bullshit. Why you be spreading fake Russian conspiracy theories?

    1. Correct.
      Fuck their narrative, but it’s the most successful State propaganda gaslighting ever run.
      The files were likely downloaded directly to a usb which was sent to Wikileaks, likely by Seth Rich, who was murdered a month after their release, likely as retribution for the leak

  15. I can’t believe Trump’s temerity in tweeting about this. Doesn’t he know that it’s not presidential to be so blatant about your treatment of your friends and enemies? You have to make sure your attacks on your enemies have plausible deniability, and you’re supposed to quietly pardon your friends just before the end of your term. With a pardon, Stone’s sentence is a bit less than 1-5 years.

    1. You really think it’s a coincidence that he has Andrew Jackson’s portrait hanging in the Oval Office? Jackson was the biggest shit-talker in the history of the Presidency; he was accused of acting like a monarch, beat the crap out of a guy that tried to shoot him, and forced a party to form, the Whigs, that were solely dedicated to opposing his policies.

      1. “and forced a party to form, the Whigs, that were solely dedicated to opposing his policies.”

        This version could be called The Bulwark.

    2. Probably more presidential to have the AG meet up with the spouse of a target of an FBI investigation on the tarmac.

      Or to have a round robin conference granting the same target and all her friends immunity due to testifying about each other.

  16. I take back what I was saying earlier today, Reason. You were better off ignoring this issue than posting something this idiotic.

    Goddamn, the writers on this site have gotten stupid.

  17. Stone should be released ASAP. Lying to Congress means nothing. How about Congress LYING to us? Every Congressman/woman should be serving 7 to 9 years.

    1. Stone was a fool to talk with anyone at the government, including congress.

    2. That would give a new meaning to the phrase “Congressional term.”

  18. “A prison sentence of seven to nine years is excessive for nonviolent process crimes aimed at concealing legal behavior.”

    Legal behavior.

    When has it ever been a crime to engage in legal behavior?

    When has it ever been a crime to conceal legal behavior?

    Clown World.

    1. They aint called perjury traps for nothing.

  19. Make $6,000-$8,000 A Month Online With No Prior Experience Or Skills Required. Be Your Own Boss And for more info visit any tab this site Thanks a lot…Start here>Read MoRe

  20. I am creating an honest wage from home 4000 Dollars/week , that is wonderful, below a year agone i used to be unemployed during a atrocious economy. I convey God on a daily basis i used to be endowed these directions and currently it’s my duty to pay it forward and share it with everybody,
    Here is I started……. ….. Read More

  21. Impressively, the author beat up a straw man right out of the gate.

    Unless you can demonstrate it’s routine to hand out that sort of sentence or an equivalent crime, his initial sentencing most certainly was “horrible and very unfair”

    Others seem to think it’s insane: https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/12/why-a-nine-year-prison-sentence-for-roger-stone-is-insane/

  22. So as I understand the post –

    -a 9-year sentence would be unfair but

    -it’s corrupt for Trump and his Justice Department to say so.

    1. Everything Trump does, including breathing and metabolizing, is corrupt. Just because he’s Trump. Hadn’t you noticed yet?

      If the SMOD were headed towards Earth, and Trump’s space force diverted it, that would be massive corruption, because the only reason Trump could have for doing something like that was to keep one of his hotels from being damaged.

  23. Bubba Bill was accused of the same crimes, how many years in prison? Robert Mueller lied under oath to Congress about WMDs in Iraq, how many years in prison? James Clapper and John Brennan lied under oath to Congress about mass surveillance, how many years in prison? Our leaders lie to us and get away, we lie to our leaders and it’s 7-9 years? What a travesty. Trump should pardon Stone, Assange, and Snowden.

  24. “Reshufflex: “You take it wrong. Of course Schiff was under oath, as are all congressfolk.”

    Nice try. You asked if Schiff was under oath, implying he wasn’t. It obviously escaped you that he is under oath, or you’re uninformed.

    Of course his office oath and Stone’s court oath are distinct-which is exactly why I said the former is objectively paramount to the latter and why I drew a parallel between the respective wrongs.

    Lying while under oath to defend and protect the COTUS dwarfs lying under oath in a criminal proceeding that-in context-is essentially political in nature.

    1. Sorry-intended for Stephen54321.

  25. We don’t have any reason to take Mueller, Schiff, or anything even remotely connected to the impeachment efforts seriously. In real life, the charges against Donald Trump would NEVER have reached trial. Not even a civil trial, where the burden of proof is somewhat less. If it did reach trial the judge would have thrown out the entire case if he or she found out the police or the prosecutor knowingly lied to obtain warrants and used evidence they knew to be false.

    The only between the impeachment and that disastrous drug raid in Houston was that no lives were lost in the former. Both cases involved government action based on phony tips and a prosecution that was politically motivated to convict. NO libertarian should have EVER said “well but impeachment is a political process so let’s just roll with it”. It boggles the mind that some writers here did.

    Stone should be sentenced to 100 hours of community service and General Flynn should be set free like a bird, with cash donations from the odious officials who persecuted him. What a shameful chapter in American history this was, and you had to shake your head at seeing TDS infecting the minds of usually astute and fair minded individuals.

  26. “Roger Stone Deserves a Lighter Sentence, but Not Because He Is Trump’s Buddy. A prison sentence of seven to nine years is excessive for nonviolent process crimes aimed at concealing legal behavior.”

    No duh.

    Here’s how the headline should have read:

    “Roger Stone doesn’t deserve such a harsh sentence just because he’s Trump’s buddy. A prison sentence of seven to nine years for nonviolent process crimes aimed at concealing legal activity is yet another example of Trump Derangement Syndrome writ large.”

    What the hell is wrong with this website?

  27. No victim = no crime.
    “Laws are maintained in credit, not because they are essentially just, but because they are laws. It is the mystical foundation of their authority; they have none other.” ~ Michel de Montaigne
    “When law and morality contradict each other the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his sense of morality or losing his respect of the law.” — Frederic Bastiat
    “Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.” ~ Albert Einstein

  28. Google pay 350$ reliably my last pay check was $45000 working 9 hours out of consistently on the web. My increasingly youthful kinfolk mate has been averaging 19k all through continuous months and he works around 24 hours reliably.

    …………….. Read more

  29. My last month’s online earnings was $16953 just by doing very easy and simple job online from home. I am a full time student and doing this online work for 2 to 3 hrs daily online. Awesome job and earning from this are just amazing. Get this today and start making money by follow details….. Read more   

  30. I earned $5000 ultimate month by using operating online only for 5 to 8 hours on my computer and this was so smooth that i personally couldn’t accept as true with before working on this website. if you too need to earn this sort of huge cash then come and be part of us. do this internet-website online….. Click it here  

  31. Make $6,000-$8,000 A Month Online With No Prior Experience Or Skills Required. Be Your Own Boss And for more info visit any tab this site Thanks a lot…Start here>→→ Read MoRe

  32. So the guy who the DOJ works for calls out an obvious political punishment and it’s a problem?

    No it’s doing his job, And we have to get the dig comparing the sentence to that for drug crimes. Irrelevant

    No mention of sex crimes which would be the typical Reason BS

    How about we just stick with comparisons to other folks who lied to investigators or congress who are not associated with Trump

    What a dumbshit article

  33. I have been wondering if there is not a better system to punish non-violent crimes than depriving a person of their freedom (in, and of itself an act of violence). I am a scientist, and definitely no legal scholar, but believe that, surely, there must be a better system than this. Filling our jails with these people at great expense and breeding even greater misdeeds seems so archaic. Come on legal scholars, think out of the box.

  34. Make $6,000-$8,000 A Month Online With No Prior Experience Or Skills Required. Be Your Own Boss And for more info visit any tab this site Thanks a lot…Start here>→→ Click it here  

  35. My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour….click here===►► Read more

  36. Google pay 350$ reliably my last pay check was $45000 working 9 hours out of consistently on the web. My increasingly youthful kinfolk mate has been averaging 19k all through continuous months and he works around 24 hours reliably….click here…….. Read more

Please to post comments