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Prosecutors ask for 7 to 9 year prison sentence for Roger Stone

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 00:09:33-05

Federal prosecutors are asking that Roger Stone, a confidante and former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison. Stone was found guilty in November of all seven charges brought against him stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Stone was found guilty of one count of witness tampering, one count of obstruction of an official proceeding and five counts of making false statements.

In a sentencing memo submitted Monday, prosecutors from the Justice Department laid out the timeline of Stone's crimes and asked for the sentence as a form of "general deterrence."

"A sentence that includes a period of incarceration would serve as a powerful reminder that our democratic processes can function only if those called to testify tell the truth, and that serious consequences lie in store for those who do not," the memo reads.

Prosecutors also argued a lighter sentence would cause a disparity between Stone and those who have been sentenced for similar crimes such as Scooter Libby and Paul Manafort. Department of Justice lawyers pointed out Manafort was given a 13-month sentence for a single count of witness tampering by the same court tasked with sentencing Stone. Manafort was also sentenced to 30 months in prison by that court for one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence showing Stone attempted to get information from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, specifically asking about the hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee that WikiLeaks published in order to influence the 2016 election. Steve Bannon, the former chief executive of Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign, testified that the campaign understood Stone was their unofficial "access point" to Assange and WikiLeaks, because Stone implied he had a connection.

"Stone's criminal conduct was not an act of desperation," prosecutors said. "He is a man of substantial means, and he has enjoyed a modicum of fame from his years of being a political adviser and confidant to powerful politicians, and from being an author and host of his own political radio show. Rather, his conduct was undertaken purposefully, by someone who knew exactly what he was doing."

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 20.