Politics

Judge will sentence Roger Stone on Thursday, but will postpone punishment pending bid for new trial

Key Points
  • The federal judge in Roger Stone's criminal trial said she will still sentence the Republican operative on Thursday.
  • But Judge Amy Berman Jackson will postpone imposing the terms of that punishment pending resolution of his request for a new trial.
  • Stone, a longtime friend of President Trump, was convicted last fall of lying to Congress about his contacts during the 2016 presidential election with the document disclosure group WikiLeaks.
  • it was revealed last week that the jury forewoman had a number of social media posts critical of Trump, and retweeted another user's posts commenting on Stone's arrest in early 2019.
Roger Stone, former adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, arrives to federal court in Washington, D.C., Feb. 21, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The federal judge in the Roger Stone case said Tuesday she willl sentence the Republican operative for multiple crimes as scheduled Thursday — but will delay imposing the terms of punishment on the longtime friend of President Donald Trump pending resolution of his request for a new trial.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said during a conference call with Stone's lawyers and prosecutors that she thought "delaying the sentence would not be a prudent thing."

Stone's lawyers last week filed a motion seeking a new trial on the heels of disclosures that the jury forewoman in Stone's trial had a history of anti-Trump social media posts. 

A court filing Tuesday indicates that Stone's lawyers in that sealed motion are "alleging juror misconduct."

Those defense lawyers told Jackson during the conference call that she should rule on their motion for a new trial before Stone is sentence. Prosecutors objected to the delay and also are opposing Stone's request for a new trial.

Jackson noted during the call, "We've already put the sentencing off once." 

Jackson said it made sense to proceed with the sentencing "since there is no harm that would flow to the defendant."

"I'm willing to make sure that there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of what the sentence would be at the sentencing hearing," Jackson said.

Trump on Tuesday retweeted comments by a Fox News legal commentator who said Stone should get a new trial in light of the forewoman's posts.

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Trump ally Roger Stone found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering

Stone was convicted last fall of lying to Congress about his contacts during the 2016 presidential election with the document disclosure group WikiLeaks. He also was convicted of trying to tamper with a witness, the comedian Randy Credico, whom he pressured to endorse his lies.

Early last week, the trial prosecutors in the case urged Jackson to sentence Stone to seven to nine years in prison.

Trump condemned that suggestion shortly after it became public.

A day after the first sentencing recommendation, the Justice Department, at the direction of Attorney General William Barr, filed a new sentencing proposal with Jackson, calling for a prison term that was significantly lower.

An attorney for Stone did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Jackson's decision to move forward with the scheduled sentencing.

A group of more than 1,000 former Justice Department employees called on Barr to resign because of his overruling of the original sentencing proposal for Stone.

The Federal Judges Association on Wednesday is set to hold an emergency meeting to discuss political pressure on the judiciary.

Trump has lashed out at Jackson in the lead-up to Stone's sentencing.

In a tweet last week, the president accused her of bias and of treating his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort worse than notorious mobster Al Capone when she ordered Manafort to jail pending trial.

"Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!" Trump tweeted.

Manfort, like Stone, was charged as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe on a variety of financial crimes.

He was sentenced to more than seven years in prison in two federal courts, including Jackson's.

- Additional reporting by Nicole Via y Rada