News, Culture & Society

DOJ denies giving Roger Stone special treatment in request to delay start date of prison sentence

Department of Justice denies giving special treatment to Roger Stone after not opposing his request to delay the start day of his prison sentence by 60 days due to ‘health issues that make him susceptible to coronavirus’

  • Roger Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison in February 2020 on charges including witness tampering, obstruction of justice and lying to Congress 
  • He was set to begin his sentence at Georgia prison on June 30 but asked that his start date be pushed back 60 days
  • Stone, 67, claims he has health issues that increase his risk of contracting the novel coronavirus
  • The Department of Justice doesn’t opposed the request and said Stone, a former adviser to President Trump, isn’t being given special treatment
  • If US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson accepts Stone’s request, it means he will begin his sentence on September 3 

The Department of Justice has denied that Roger Stone is being giving special treatment by agreeing to his request to delay the start of his prison sentence.

Stone, a former self-proclaimed adviser to President Donald Trump, was convicted last year of witness tampering, obstruction of justice and lying to Congress and was set begin his 40-month sentence at a prison in Georgia on June 30.

However, the 67-year-old claimed he has health issues that increase his risk of contracting the novel coronavirus and has asked that his start date be pushed back 60 days.  

Prosecutors wrote in a court filing that they were following a directive from the Justice Department not to oppose sensible delays in sentencing as the pandemic, which has killed more than 126,000 Americans, rages on.

He asked for a delay to health issues that make him more susceptible to COVID-19. Pictured: Barr is escorted to the Rose Garden for an event on Safe Policing for Safe Communities at the White House in June  2020

The Justice Department has denied that Roger Stone is being giving special treatment by agreeing to his request to delay the start of his prison sentence. He asked for a delay to health issues that make him more susceptible to COVID-19. Pictured: Stone, left, and Attorney General William Barr, right

Stone, a former self-proclaimed adviser to President Donald Trump, was convicted last year of witness tampering and lying to Congress and was set begin his 40-month sentence at a prison in Georgia on June 30.  Pictured: Trump looks on during a roundtable briefing on border security at the United States Border Patrol Yuma Station in Yuma, Arizona, June 23

Stone, a former self-proclaimed adviser to President Donald Trump, was convicted last year of witness tampering and lying to Congress and was set begin his 40-month sentence at a prison in Georgia on June 30.  Pictured: Trump looks on during a roundtable briefing on border security at the United States Border Patrol Yuma Station in Yuma, Arizona, June 23

On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson asked prosecutors why the Department of Justice did not resist Stone’s effort to delay his sentence. 

According to the US Attorney’s Office, all defendants not deemed a flight risk are having their sentences delayed due tot he pandemic.  

‘The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has uniformly adhered’ this standard, a filing from Thursday, and first reported by Politico reads.. 

‘For that reason – and that reason only – the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia does not oppose Stone’s motion for a 60-day delay.’ 

Jackson has not yet ruled on Stone’s request but, if it is granted, it means his sentence would begin on September 3.

As of Thursday, nearly 5,000 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, since late March.

The Bureau of Prisons has said that more than 3,200 have recovered  while at least 60 inmates have died. 

In a previous filing, Stone said he was wary because 25 tests for the virus have been conducted at the correctional facility where he will be serving his sentence. 

If US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson accepts Stone's request, it means he will begin his sentence on September 3. Pictured: Stone departs after he was sentenced to 40 months  in prison, February 20, 2020

If US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson accepts Stone’s request, it means he will begin his sentence on September 3. Pictured: Stone departs after he was sentenced to 40 months  in prison, February 20, 2020

Aaron Zelinsky (pictured), who prosecuted the Stone case, said Stone was 'being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the President'

Aaron Zelinsky (pictured), who prosecuted the Stone case, said Stone was ‘being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the President’

The Justice Department says no cases have been confirmed and that the tests were done as a precaution. 

Throughout Stone’s trial and conviction, several people have been accused of interference including Trump, Attorney General William Barr and top officials at the DOJ.

Aaron Zelinsky, a member of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team who prosecuted the Stone case, testified about interference from the DOJ to drop the charges against Stone.

Zelinsky told Congress that he recommended a harsher sentence for Stone but DOJ leaders pushed for a more lenient sentence at Barr’s direction because they were ‘afraid of the president.’ 

In written testimony, he said Stone was ‘being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the President.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.