A federal judge has rejected Roger Stone’s request for a lengthy delay of his prison term, saying that the former Trump adviser’s health issues are under control and the facility he’ll report to has no cases of coronavirus, Politico reports.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who last week ordered the former Trump adviser immediately into home confinement and to prison on July 14, said she was turning down Stone’s request for a delay until September because prosecutors have made similar arguments against releasing defendants whose health conditions were “in check.”
Stone, a longtime Republican operative and confidant of President Donald Trump, was convicted in November of repeatedly lying to House investigators pursuing evidence of Trump campaign contacts with Russians interfering in the 2016 U.S. election. He was also convicted of threatening a witness to impede the probe.
“Roger Stone’s underlying health issues are ‘medically controlled’ and the prison he’s being sent to has no documented cases of coronavirus, and therefore he doesn’t merit an additional 60-day delay of his prison term,” the judge in his case has determined in a newly unsealed opinion, according to Politico.
In her ruling, Jackson sounded highly dubious of Stone’s contention that he required the delay for urgent health reasons. She even cited the letter Stone submitted from his doctor and expressed doubt about Stone’s efforts at social distancing as the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded.
“The letter from defendant’s internist stated: I highly recommend that he maintain strict quarantine conditions. . . . . He should not be in any situations that would expose him to the SARSCOV-2 virus. He needs to maintain at least 6 feet distance from people. He should avoid closed quarters with many people,” Jackson wrote, quoting from the doctor’s note.
“Defendant’s response to the Court’s inquiry concerning his personal preventive practices and avoidance of public gatherings in accordance with these directives was vague, carefully parsed, and not reassuring,” Jackson said.