MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone is headed to prison.
On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the DC District Court sentenced him to 40 months in prison.READ MORE: Three Deaths On First Day Of Lobster Mini Season
Stone won’t be detained immediately. He is still challenging his conviction by claiming juror misconduct, and Jackson is separately still considering that request for a new trial.
When he was indicted in January 2019, a team of armed FBI agents swarming Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home, arresting him before dawn.
It was the last set of criminal charges special counsel Robert Mueller filed before he ended his investigation.
Awaiting trial, Stone amplified conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation on his social media accounts. In February 2019, he posted an image of Jackson with crosshairs behind her head, above a caption that called Mueller a “Deep State hitman.”
Jackson then sharply restricted his social media use and ordered him not to speak publicly about his case, the Mueller investigation and the court.
He went to trial in November and was convicted on seven counts — telling Congress five lies, obstructing lawmakers from reviewing documents and threatening his acquaintance, Credico, to pressure him to lie to Congress so as not to expose Stone.
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Credico and former top Trump campaign officials Rick Gates and Steve Bannon testified against Stone at trial, with Gates revealing he witnessed a conversation between Trump and Stone where the then-presidential candidate said he expected more releases of information.
The maximum sentence Stone could have faced was 50 years in prison after he was convicted on seven felony charges including lying to Congress and obstruction.
The four prosecutors who brought Stone to trial initially asked that he be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison, resting that recommendation on the severity of his crimes and behavior.
Trump called that ask “very unfair,” however, in a late-night tweet. Attorney General William Barr overrode the recommendation the next day, saying seven years in prison would be too harsh a sentence.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Morning Sun, Late Afternoon Storms
Those four prosecutors then withdrew from the case. Two new DC US Attorney’s Office supervisors stepped up to handle Stone’s sentencing. In court Thursday, they argued that Stone should receive the higher sentence for two reasons: First, he obstructed justice in Robert Mueller’s investigation. Second, he threatened Credico.
Stone’s defense attorney, Seth Ginsberg, argued that the judge shouldn’t take into consideration a higher sentencing guideline because of Stone’s threats to witness Randy Credico.
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Prosecutor John Crabb Jr. said the fact is “the defendant threatened both his personal safety and his pet.”
Jackson sided with the Justice Department, agreeing that the sentencing recommendation for Stone should be much higher because of his threats to Credico, providing false information to a judge and potentially threatened her.
Stone’s attorney, acknowledging that his client is known for his flamboyancy, had asked the judge to go easy on him.
The sentence is “going to be imposed on a real person,” attorney Seth Ginsberg said.
Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, has developed a reputation for being a thorough judge, especially in handling cases from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Previously, she sentenced former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to prison for conspiracy and witness tampering crimes, and his deputy Gates to 45 days in prison for lying to investigators and conspiracy with Manafort.
In many ways, Stone’s case had come to define Mueller’s investigation.
During the campaign, Stone had sought to spread smears about Hillary Clinton and openly bragged of being in touch with WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. Congress called him to testify, and he covered up discussions he had with Trump campaign officials about trying to reach Assange and efforts he made to use another associate of his as a WikiLeaks liaison.
Prosecutors said he lied about his efforts in order to protect the President.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
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