A federal judge on Thursday sentenced President Donald Trump’s long-time adviser Roger Stone to three years and four months in prison and said his lies to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election amounted to a threat to American democracy, Reuters informs.
After U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced the veteran Republican operative in Washington, Trump indicated to an audience in Las Vegas that he has no immediate plans to pardon Stone and would let the legal process play out but said “at some point I’m going to make a determination.”
In a stern lecture during a 2-1/2-hour sentencing hearing, Jackson also delivered an implicit rebuke to Trump, who has attacked her along with the jury and prosecutors in the high-profile case.
“There was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution,” Jackson said, citing words that the Republican president has used.
Stone’s lawyer had asked that he get no prison time. The 67-year-old Stone, who has been a friend and adviser to Trump for decades, was convicted on Nov. 15 on all seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
“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.
“The truth still exists. The truth still matters,” Jackson added. “Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our fundamental institutions – to the very foundation of our democracy.”
The judge also said Stone “knew exactly what he was doing” when he posted an image on social media last year that positioned a gun’s cross-hairs over her head, Reuters adds.
“The defendant engaged in threatening and intimidating conduct toward the court,” Jackson said. “This is intolerable to the administration of justice.”
Stone declined to speak at the hearing. Clad in a dark gray pinstripe suit with a polka dot handkerchief in the pocket, Stone stood at a lectern as the judge announced the sentence.