Roger Stone Sentenced to 40 Months, as Barr Puts Spotlight on the Swamp Now
Feb. 20, 2020 (EIRNS)—Roger Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison by Judge Amy Berman Jackson today, in a case in which Attorney General William Barr became the primary target over the past two weeks. Barr is investigating the origins of the coup against Donald Trump, which involves all three branches of the U.S. government, and a desperate effort is underway to get him to resign or limit his investigation. The effort has centered on faux outrage over Barr’s revision of the original Justice Department sentencing recommendation in the Stone case, which was far outside the bounds of applicable precedent.
President Donald Trump delivered remarks on the sentence from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was attending a Hope for Prisoners Conference as part of the administration’s Next Step Initiative. He commented that those assembled knew all about bad juries and unjust prosecutions and said that Roger Stone had been treated very unfairly. He singled out the allegations of misconduct by the jury forewoman in Stone’s case as part of his belief that Stone would be exonerated.
Judge Jackson has before her a motion for a new trial, based on the recently disclosed Twitter feed comments of jury forewoman Tomeka Hart. After a stunt in which the four original Mueller probe prosecutors resigned from the case last week, when Attorney General Barr overruled their original sentencing recommendation for 7-9 years, Hart came forward to defend the prosecutors and revealed that she had an extraordinary and undisclosed bias against Donald Trump and had been texting for impeachment during the Stone trial. Confronted with this motion, Judge Jackson reversed what would be the normal process, namely, hearing the new trial motion first and then sentencing Stone. Instead, as one wag commented, it was execution first, trial later.
Stone remains free on bond until that motion is litigated, but the obnoxious gag order Judge Jackson has imposed on Stone and those close to him remains in place.
The sentence Judge Jackson imposed is exactly the sentence Attorney General Barr recommended. Close observers believe that is meant to continue to heighten tensions between Barr and the President, and to make Trump’s inevitable pardon of Stone more politically controversial. Jackson also provided copy for those who assert that Barr is acting as Trump’s henchman, by defending the four resigning prosecutors and claiming that Barr’s lower sentencing recommendation defied current DOJ policy which requires maximum charging and sentencing recommendations for serious crimes.
Judge Jackson also took off on Stone during sentencing, in remarks which underlined her bias on this and other Robert Mueller-directed cases. Conducting a scolding tirade against the 67-year-old grandfather who stood before her for lying to the Congress about an investigation which had no legal or factual basis, she claimed that Stone had been convicted, not for supporting the President but for covering up for the President. There is absolutely no support in the record for this claim.
Stone’s lies to Congress, resulting from a perjury trap, were all about alleged contacts with Julian Assange concerning what the WikiLeaks director had on Hillary Clinton following WikiLeaks’ first release of emails from the Democratic National Committee in June 2016. In reality, Stone had no actual direct contacts of substance with WikiLeaks and, it appears, his claims to the contrary were attempts to impress the Trump Campaign after Trump had publicly distanced himself from Stone.
The United States knew that, yet encouraged press coverage of Stone and investigation of him as the Trump connection to WikiLeaks and Russian interference in the 2016 election. As LaRouche PAC and EIR have repeatedly documented, the Russian interference claim itself is utterly bogus. To bolster the defamatory claim that Stone was a traitor, he was originally arrested before sunrise at his Florida home by a swarm of SWAT teams carrying machine guns, as helicopters flew overhead, all witnessed by a CNN film crew.
Stone was also convicted of tampering with a witness, Randy Credico. Credico testified at trial and in a letter to Judge Jackson concerning sentencing that he didn’t believe he was tampered with at all.
Jackson also made a big point in sentencing about Stone’s disregard for her gag order, imposed after Stone posted a picture of the judge with what appear to be cross-hair symbols in the background, claiming that Stone had sought to disrupt his own trial. Yet, she had already held a full hearing on it, in which Stone apologized and she declined any punishment other than banning him from any use of social media. Most observers believe the gag order is a completely unconstitutional restraint on Stone’s First Amendment rights and his ability to defend himself in a venue, which has been completely poisoned against him.