Politics

Trump ally Roger Stone asks for delay in criminal sentencing in WikiLeaks lie case

Key Points
  • Lawyers for Roger Stone, an ally of President Donald Trump convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering, asked a judge to delay his criminal sentencing until sometime after March 9.
  • Stone's lawyers said they want the delay to have more time to assemble financial records and other information needed for a presentence report.
  • Stone lied to Congress about contacts with WikiLeaks, which during the 2016 presidential election released emails from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign chief that were stolen by Russian agents.
Roger Stone former adviser to President Donald Trump, departs the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House July 16, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images

Lawyers for Roger Stone, an ally of President Donald Trump who recently was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering, on Thursday asked a judge to delay his criminal sentencing by at least one month until sometime after March 9.

Stone's lawyers in a court filing said they want a delay in order to have more time to assemble financial records and other information needed to prepare the presentence report in his case.

The records "are extensive and not all immediately available," lawyers wrote in their motion filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Federal prosecutors have told Stone's legal team they will oppose a delay of the 67-year-old Republican operative's sentencing beyond the currently scheduled date of Feb. 6, defense lawyers wrote.

But they also noted that a federal probation officer assigned to prepare the presentence investigation report for Judge Amy Berman Jackson had advised Stone's lawyers to seek a delay because probation officials will not be able to submit a draft of that report by a Jan. 9 deadline set by the judge.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia did not have an immediate comment when asked if the office would oppose the requested postponement.

VIDEO1:0001:00
Trump ally Roger Stone found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering

Stone, a self-described political trickster, was convicted Nov. 15 of all seven criminal counts after a trial.

Trump criticized the verdict later that day, calling it "a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country," suggesting that the president's political and legal foes had escaped prosecution for lying.

The charges against Stone related to claims by special counsel Robert Mueller that he misled Congress about his contacts with the document disclosure group WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election, and to Stone's efforts to get his associate, comedian Randy Credico, to back up his lies.

WikiLeaks during the 2016 election released emails from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign chief that had been stolen by Russian agents.

The emails were seen as potentially damaging to the campaign of Clinton, the Democatic Party nominee, against Trump.

NBC News legal analyst Mimi Rocah has said that federal guidelines will recommend a prison sentence for Stone of between 15 and 21 months.

During Stone's trial, former top Trump campaign official Rick Gates testified that Trump talked to Stone about WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign

Gates testified that less than a minute after finishing a July 2016 call from Stone, Trump indicated that "more information would be coming" from Wikileaks.

That testimony contrasted with Trump's claim last November that he did not recall speaking to Stone about WikiLeaks.

In a written response to Mueller in November 2018, Trump said, "I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with" Stone, "nor do I recall Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with my campaign."

But Trump also said, "I was aware that WikiLeaks was the subject of media reporting and campaign-related discussion at the time."

The president's written responses were requested by Mueller last year as part of his probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the question of whether Trump's campaign had coordinated with Russians.

Gates himself was sentenced by Jackson on Tuesday to 45 days in jail and three years' probation for conspiracy and making a false statement.

On Monday, another federal judge in Washington, Emmet Sullivan, said he will sentence Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn on Jan. 28 for his crime of lying to FBI agents about the nature of his discussions with Russia's U.S. ambassador in the weeks before Trump's inauguration.

Both Gates and his former business associate Paul Manafort — a one-time Trump campaign chief — originally were charged with financial crimes related to their consulting work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, which was performed prior to their roles on the Trump campaign.

Gates pleaded guilty to reduced charges in 2018.

Manafort was convicted at trial and also pleaded guilty in another court to multiple crimes. He is now serving a 7½-year prison term.

Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, is serving a three-year federal prison term for financial crimes, campaign finance violations related to hush money payments to women who claim to have had sex with Trump and lying to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Trump denies having sex with either of the women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen has said he facilitated payments to both women at Trump's direction to prevent them from going public with their claims and harming his chances of winning the White House.