Roger Stone sentenced to 3 years, 4 months behind bars

Clare Hymes, Stefan Becket and Amber Ali

Washington — Roger Stone, the longtime GOP operative and Trump confidant, has been sentenced to 40 months behind bars for lying to Congress about his efforts to collaborate with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign and threatening a witness to cover up his actions.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down the sentence at a hearing in federal court in Washington on Thursday. Her decision comes amid intense controversy over Attorney General William Barr's highly unusual public intervention in the case over the government's recommended sentence, as well as President Trump's repeated public criticism of the case.

"This is not 'Roger just being Roger.' He lied to Congress. He lied to our elected representatives," Jackson said in her closing remarks. "The sentence is not just about punishing him, but also about deterring others and upholding the law."

While Mr. Trump has hinted at a possible pardon for Stone, he said Thursday afternoon that he wants "to let the process play out."

"I'm following this very closely and I want to see it play out to its fullest," the president said at an event in Las Vegas. "Roger has a very good chance of exoneration, in my opinion."

Stone won't go to prison immediately. His lawyers have requested a new trial based on allegations of political bias, and Jackson said earlier this week that Stone's sentence would be deferred until she rules on that request. He has been on supervised release and under a gag order over the course of the case.

Stone declined to speak at the hearing and did not address a swarm of media outside the courthouse. In addition to the prison sentence, Jackson said Stone must perform 250 hours of community service and pay $20,700 in fines and fees. He will also be subject to two more years of supervised release once he leaves prison.

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