Trump may still pardon Stone, who was convicted in November on charges of witness tampering and lying to Congress.
Roger Stone, the self-proclaimed "dirty trickster" and longtime Donald Trump confidant, was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Thursday for his interference in the Russia investigation.
Stone was also given 24 months supervised release and a slapped with a $20,000 fine.
Amy Berman Jackson read a lengthy statement before handing her sentence down, saying that Stone was not the target of a political enemy nor was the prosecution against him unfair.
"Roger Stone injected himself, characteristically, in one of the most significant issues of the day," she said, and will now face the consequences of those actions.
She continued, "He is not being sentenced for exercising his first amendment rights. ... He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president."
"At his core, Mr. Stone is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention," she added. "Nothing about this case was a joke. It wasn't funny."
Stone was convicted in November 2019 on seven counts of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress as part of the investigation into Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 election. On Thursday, Jackson read a number of his threatening messages to one witness aloud in court, noting that he had threatened to kill the man's dog and had told him, "my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds" and "'prepare to die."
Prosecutors had previously recommended Stone face seven to nine years in prison for his crimes.
However, after prosecutors recommended that sentence, Attorney General William Barr intervened to say that the government actually thought Stone deserved leniency — contradicting the first sentencing memo.
Barr's intervention led the four lead prosecutors on the case to resign in protest.
Bizarrely, the new prosecutor on the case — John Crabb — went to Stone's sentencing hearing on Thursday and argued for the same sentence the four original prosecutors had recommended. Crabb, who signed off on the new sentencing guidelines, wouldn't say who wrote the new memo.
Despite his sentence, it's unclear if Stone will ever serve a day in jail.
Trump is reportedly mulling pardoning Stone and has tweeted that he thinks a long sentence for Stone is "unfair."
"'They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.' @CNN OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?" Trump tweeted during the hearing.
There is no evidence former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.