Donald Trump ally sentenced to jail

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A longtime friend and political adviser to Donald Trump has been sentenced to federal prison following an extraordinary effort to reduce his time served.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson today sentenced Stone to three years and four months in federal prison, following an extraordinary move by Attorney-General William Barr to back off his Justice Department’s original sentencing recommendation.

Roger Stone, former adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrives at E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse on February 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. Picture: AP Manuel Balce Ceneta.Stone had no immediate reaction in court when Jackson announced his sentence. Later, he emerged from the courthouse to a crowd exchanging back and forth chants of “Lock him up” and “Pardon Roger Stone.” Stone got into a black SUV without speaking to reporters.

The sentence came amid Trump’s unrelenting defence of his longtime confidant that has led to a mini-revolt inside the Justice Department and allegations the president has interfered in the case. “Why are you the one who is standing here today?” Jackson asked federal prosecutor John Crabb, who took over the case after the original trial team quit.

Stone has denied wrongdoing and consistently criticised the case against him as politically motivated. He did not take the stand during his trial and his lawyers did not call any witnesses in his defence.Prosecutors had charged in the filing that Stone “decided to double- and triple- down on his criminal conduct by tampering with a witness for months in order to make sure his obstruction would be successful.” “Stone’s actions were not a one-off mistake in judgment.

Witnesses testified that Trump’s campaign viewed Stone as an “access point” to WikiLeaks and tried to use him to get advance word about hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.

 

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