Roger Stone jailed for 40 months for impeding congressional probe | News | DW | 20.02.2020
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Roger Stone jailed for 40 months for impeding congressional probe

Donald Trump's ally has been sentenced to 40 months in jail for a conviction relating to the probe into the 2016 presidential election. The sentence comes after the US attorney general lowered his recommended sentence.

Roger Stone, an ally of US President Donald Trump, was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison on Thursday.

He was found guilty on charges that included lying to investigators in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Stone's belligerence and lies represented "a threat to our democracy."

"He was not prosecuted — as some have complained — for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president," Jackson said.

"There was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution," Jackson added.

Read more: US Primaries: Who is 'Mayor Pete' Buttigieg?

The ruling came after an extraordinary move from US Attorney General William Barr, who backed off his initial sentencing recommendation of at least seven years. Jackson said the original sentence recommendation was excessive.

Trump tweeted that the original sentence recommendation from the US Justice Department was a "miscarriage of justice."

Stone's lawyers had asked for a sentence of probation, citing his age of 67 years, his health and his lack of criminal history.

'Very good chance' of exoneration

In reaction to Stone's sentence, Trump said on Thursday that he believed his ally would be exonerated. He added that he believed the jury in Stone's case was "tainted," but won't issue a pardon right away.

"Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion," Trump said. "I'm going to let this process play out."

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dv/aw (AFP, AP)

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