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Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison

Posted at 9:17 AM, Feb 20, 2020

Roger Stone, a longtime political strategist and friend of President Donald Trump, was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Thursday.

Stone was also ordered to serve two years probation, pay a $20,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service.

Stone's sentencing comes amid controversy in the Justice Department about Trump's public reactions to the case and the president's push for a light sentence.

Late last year, Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering relating to the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors originally suggested that Stone serve a prison sentence of between seven and nine years earlier this month. However, shortly thereafter, Trump tweeted that he felt such a sentence would be a "miscarriage of justice." The Justice Department later amended their recommendation and called for a lesser sentence.

All four Department of Justice prosecutors abruptly resigned from the case following Trump's criticism. The lawyers have since been replaced, but Trump's criticism has caused an uproar in the Justice Department. Attorney General William Barr has publicly asked that Trump refrains from influencing Justice Department affairs, and reports emerged Wednesday that he would consider resigning if Trump did not stop tweeting.

Trump has the constitutional power to issue a pardon to Stone or commute his sentence.

"I haven't given it any thought," the president said Tuesday when asked about pardoning Stone, according to Politico. "I think he's been treated very unfairly. ... You're gonna see what happens. You'll see what happens."

Trump issued clemency to 11 people earlier this week, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who had served eight years of a 14-year-sentence for lying to the FBI. Blagojevich appeared on the Celebrity Apprentice, a show hosted by Trump, in 2010.