Roger Stone talks to reporters outside a courtroom in New York, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Stone, a longtime political provocateur and adviser to President Donald Trump, is being sued over a flyer sent to 150,000 New York households during the state’s 2010 election that called the Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Warren Redlich, a “sexual predator.” Stone says he had nothing to do with it. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Let me preface this article by saying I’m not here to provide a litany of reasons why Roger Stone isn’t guilty or is actually an upstanding citizen. This guy is pretty clearly a crook and clown in much the same mold as Michael Cohen.
He decided to be a moron and lie to a House committee. As has been made clear the last three years, if you chose to do anything like that, the feds will nail you if you have ever even used the same bathroom as Donald Trump. The witness tampering charges were also mostly of Stone’s own doing, as he refused to follow sound legal advice and kept running his mouth like a cheap mafioso.
With that said, the sentence that is being recommended for his convictions is insane. Prosecutors want to give 9 years to a 67 year old man for a couple of process crimes.
A *9 year* prison recommendation for non-violent crimes committed by a 67-year-old man. https://t.co/9w7IUa2f09
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 10, 2020
Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., on Monday recommended that longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone serve up to nine years in prison following his conviction on false statements and witness tampering charges related to the Russia investigation.
In their court filing, prosecutors asserted that Stone deserved the multi-year sentence because “[f]oreign election interference is the ‘most deadly adversar[y] of republican government.’”
Yeah, well except Stone didn’t engage in “foreign election interference,” nor is that what his convictions center on. Yet, the government is trying to use that as a reason to push his sentence into the realm of absurdity.
But despite linking Stone to foreign election meddling, the 67-year-old Republican political operative was never charged with working with Russia to influence the 2016 election…
…Despite Democrats’ and the special counsel’s initial suspicions that Stone conspired with Russia or WikiLeaks, investigators found no evidence that the Trump associate had direct contact with anyone involved in stealing or disseminating Democrats’ emails.
This is just politics run amok. There’s no reason to be recommending a nearly decade long sentence for an old man who didn’t even commit the crimes he was originally suspected of. You can think Stone is a crook and still believe this is lunacy.
If this judge has an ounce of integrity, he’ll scoff at the prosecution’s citing of “election interference” and not humor this nonsense. If the government had the goods on Stone working with the Russians, they should have shown that in their prosecution. They didn’t and they shouldn’t be allowed to pretend they did now that it’s time for Stone’s sentencing.
And on a broader topic, this isn’t just a Roger Stone issue. This is an issue with our criminal justice system. No one committing a process crime should be given 9 years in prison, if for no other reason that it’s an idiotic use of public resources. We keep far too many people behind bars, for far too long over non-violent crimes (and I’m not talking about drug dealers, who are hardly “non-violent”). Meanwhile, violent criminals in places like San Francisco and New York can shuffle through dozens of arrests with no repercussions.
On the other side, prosecutors have too much power to destroy the lives of those they target, even if they can’t prove their original case. The system is broken and needs to fixed.