After President Trump and his lapdog at the Justice Department, William Barr, tried to meddle in the case of longtime Trump friend and protégé Roger Stone last week, the federal judge who is scheduled to sentence Stone later this month just made it clear that she’s still in control of what happens to him.
On Sunday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued an unusual weekend order demanding that Stone, his attorneys, and government prosecutors participate in a telephone hearing on Tuesday, February 18, two days before Stone is scheduled to be sentenced, according to Politico, which notes that Stone’s legal team has also filed a motion for a new trial:
“It’s unclear whether the judge will decide to proceed with the sentencing as scheduled, given the latest motion for a new trial and questions about how easily prosecutors will be able to respond to it with those most familiar with the case having formally stepped back from it and, in one instance, quit his job altogether.
“Some former Justice Department prosecutors are urging Jackson to inquire into the abrupt withdrawal of the trial team last week and the reversal in the government’s position, but she has not yet signaled any plans to do that.”
DOJ prosecutors originally filed a sentencing memo with the court recommending that Stone receive between seven and nine years of incarceration after he was convicted of obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress in November of last year.
But after Trump began expressing outrage over Stone’s possibly being sent to prison for nearly a decade, AG Barr took control of the case, which led to the mass resignation of the four DOJ prosecutors who got the conviction against Stone in November of last year.
The fact that Judge Jackson wants to talk to both sides two days before she possibly hands down Stone’s sentence cannot be good news for him or his attorneys. Granted, she may just want to clarify that she will still pass sentence on Thursday, but things don’t look very promising for the president’s buddy.
Like so many people associated with Donald Trump, Roger Stone brought this all on himself. And he deserves to have the book thrown at him.