Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Roger Stone to 40 months in prison Thursday after the Justice Department recommended a nearly decade-long sentence last week before Attorney General William Barr controversially intervened and walked it back.
“He was not prosecuted, as some complained, for standing up for the president,” Jackson said. “He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”
Stone, a self-described “dirty trickster” and longtime confidant to President Trump, was swept up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and arrested last January. He was found guilty in November on five separate counts of lying to the House Intelligence Committee during its investigation into Russian interference about his alleged outreach to WikiLeaks, in addition to one count that he “corruptly influenced, obstructed, and impeded” the congressional investigation and another for attempting to “corruptly persuade” the congressional testimony of radio show host Randy Credico.
Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months for obstruction of justice and 12 months for the other five counts to be served concurrently. Stone also received a $20,000 fine and 24 months of supervised release when he gets out.
Jackson said that “the government’s original memorandum was thorough,” and “any suggestion that the prosecutors in this case did anything untoward or unethical is false.” But she admitted that seven to nine years in prison “would be unnecessary.” The judge said, “I sincerely doubt,” she would have sentenced him to that many years behind bars, even if there hadn’t been a firestorm surrounding the case.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed accusations made by lawyers of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard from Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, that President Trump offered the Australian whistleblower a pardon contingent on him lying about how his organization gained access to leaked emails from Democratic National Committee and then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Fitzgerald said former California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was instructed by Trump to visit Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he was living under asylum, and offer a deal if Assange said, “Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.”
Grisham shot back at the claims, calling the alleged deal a “complete fabrication and a total lie.”
President Trump said he knows the identity of “Anonymous.”
His statement to reporters on Tuesday indicates a multipronged search within the White House for the author of the tell-all book, A Warning, which spoke of a resistance movement within the Trump administration, has been successful.
“I know who it is,” Trump said as he boarded a plane at Joint Base Andrews destined for Los Angeles, adding that he could not divulge a name just yet.
“But I know who it is,” he added. “We won’t get into it. People know it’s a fraud. I know who it is, and I know who some of the leakers are.”
Barack Obama decided to use Presidents’ Day to get in an argument with another president.
Well, okay, but the average GDP growth rate under Obama averaged around 2 percent, among the lowest of any modern president. Meantime, wages stagnated and the worker non-participation rate in the economy was at levels not seen since the 1970s. The economy grew just 1.6 percent in Obama’s final year.
Trump’s GDP growth has been about 2.5 percent, which is just average, though higher than Obama’s. Meantime, wages are rising and the worker participation rate is slowly recovering.
Of course, Trump was not pleased.
Left out of all this? Both Trump and Obama had helped fuel economic growth with massive federal deficits in a climate of low interest rates.
Hope Hicks, President Trump’s former aide who followed him from the Trump Organization to the White House, is returning in a new role to work on projects led by Jared Kushner.
She left the administration two years ago and become chief communications officer at Fox, but her departure left a hole that insiders say was never filled by a president who places a high value on loyalty and the small circle of officials who were with him from the start his election campaign.
Her role will be counselor to the president and senior adviser, according to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who described Hicks, 31, as “one of the most talented and savvy individuals I have come across.”
Hicks had told confidants that she would only considering coming back to the White House once the various federal and congressional investigations into the president and his election campaign were complete.
Rep. Devin Nunes predicted more fallout from then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
After the Justice Department recommended a steep prison sentence for Trump confidant Roger Stone, which was walked back on Tuesday, the California Republican said that “this is not going to be the only example” of questionable behavior during the federal inquiry he called an “obstruction of justice trap.”
“There’s more to come on this,” the House Intelligence Committee ranking member told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, before noting that all four prosecutors in the Stone case, including three who were on Mueller’s team, quit after the Justice Department rebuked their recommendation of up to nine years in prison for the longtime GOP operative. A more lenient three to four years in prison were suggested in the latest court filing.
“We think there’s other examples of things that they did during the Mueller investigation that I think you and your listeners and the American people will be very interested to learn in the coming weeks as we start to unpeel the onion of what the Mueller team was really doing,” he added.
“Don’t bring Fredo,” President Trump tweets just before meeting with the governor at the White House. From the Washington Examiner: President Trump jabbed CNN host Chris Cuomo not long before he is set to meet with his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The president and the governor are scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon to… Continue Reading
Hear comes your next scandal. From the Washington Examiner: All four prosecutors in the Roger Stone case withdrew from their roles after the Justice Department reversed course in seeking a lengthy prison sentence for the Republican operative. The officials, three of whom were members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating a possible criminal conspiracy… Continue Reading
Of course, after voting to convict him in the impeachment trial. I gather he got some polls back indicating that his constituents weren’t too pleased with his vote. According to the Washington Examiner: Sen. Joe Manchin left open the possibility of voting for President Trump if surging 2020 Democratic candidates don’t shift their rhetoric to… Continue Reading
Barack Obama doubled George W. Bush’s national security council staff. President Trump is paring it back, I suppose to make it leaner and more efficient — and to grow loyalty. According to the Washington Examiner: President Trump is making good on his promises to “drain the swamp” and cut Obama-era holdovers from his staffs, especially… Continue Reading