Roger Stone, the Republican operative and staunch ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in federal prison for lying to Congress and federal investigators.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson also ordered Stone to serve two years probation and pay $20,000 in fines, according to reports. He was convicted in November on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress tied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Stone's case has roiled the Justice Department as four prosecutors working on the case resigned after Attorney General William Barr intervened after they made a sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years in prison.
The action followed Trump's public denunciation of the recommendation for his confidante, calling it a "miscarriage of justice" that cannot be allowed in a Twitter screed.
"This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them," he said.
Speaking at the Hope for Prisoners graduation ceremony in Las Vegas, Trump said he believed Stone "has very good chance of exoneration" and was "treated very unfairly."
"I am following this very closely, and I want to see it play out to its fullest because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion.
"I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president. I want the process to play out," Trump added. "I think that’s the best thing to do. Because I’d love to see Roger exonerated, and I’d love to see it happen, because I personally believe he was treated very unfairly."
Trump also knocked the jury forewoman in Stone’s trial, Tomeka Hart, calling her an "anti-Trump activist" and “totally tainted."
*Servet Gunerigok contributed to this story
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