Roger Stone Seeks Zero Jail Time For Messing With House Russia Probe

Roger Stone, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, exits the Federal Courthouse on January 25, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
February 11, 2020 10:47 a.m.

Roger Stone told a federal judge Monday that a sentence of no incarceration would be “appropriate” for his conviction for various crimes related to his misconduct in the House’s Russia election meddling probe.

Stone’s recommendation comes after prosecutors suggested he serve up to nine years in prison. A jury last fall found Stone guilty of obstruction of a congressional investigation, false statements and witness tampering.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20.

“In this case, including a trial more public than most and the corresponding loss of his professional standing, the process is itself significant punishment,” Stone said in his sentencing memo. He claimed that his “history and characteristics, including his low likelihood of recidivism and significant health concerns, all favor a sentence that provides punishment without incarceration.”

Stone took issue with the various factors the government took into account when it came up with a recommended sentencing guideline of 87-108 months. Stone said the guideline should be calculated as 15-21 months. Even then, he said he deserved a sentence below that guideline, because, he claimed, neither his false statements nor his threats to another potential House witness were significant “in the broader context of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

“In other words, Stone stands convicted for having sought to conceal information ultimately determined to be of no investigative value,” the memo claimed.

Stone brushed off the threatening messages he sent radio host Randy Credico to discourage Credico from testifying in the House probe.

“Stone’s indecorous conversations with Randy Credico were many things, but here, in the circumstances of this nearly 20-year relationship between eccentric men, where crude language was the norm, ‘prepare to die cocksucker’ and conversations of similar ilk, were not threats of physical harm, ‘serious acts’ used as a means of intimidation, or ‘the more serious forms of obstruction’ contemplated by the Guidelines,” the filing said. The filing also included a letter from Credico in which he implored the judge not to sentence Stone to jail time, even as the radio host stood by his testimony about Stone’s messages at the trial.

In the memo, Stone claimed that the information Credico’s testimony could have provided could “hardly be considered valuable, much less substantial,” and that “regardless of Stone, Credico had no intention of testifying” before the House Intelligence Committee.

“Furthermore, as was made plain during the relevant proceedings, the conduct in question resulted in large measure from the exacerbation of a longstanding battle with anxiety that was heightened during the pendency of this action, which Stone subsequently corrected with therapeutic treatment,” the memo said.

Stone also downplayed the several episodes in which he ran afoul of the gag order U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed in his case — episodes that included posting to his Instagram an image of the judge with a crosshairs behind her and an inflammatory caption.

Stone on Monday called the posts to his social media “questionable” and a “misstep.”

Referencing another episode that got him in hot water with the judge, Stone suggested that the publication of an updated introduction to his book that bashed special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe was the result of a miscommunication among his “numerous” attorneys.

He complained about the “terrifying circumstances” of his January 2019 arrest and  the “public scrutiny and vilification” he faced during the proceedings.

Additionally, Stone said the various lawsuits that he currently faces were another reason the judge should exercise leniency when she sentenced him.

“In addition to the stress and strains described above, there is also a need for Stone to defend and respond to a barrage of civil litigation actions brought against him by a would-be witness, and his lawyer,” Stone said.

Read the full memo below:

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