Defending the Indefensible

I hate having to defend Roger Stone, but I have to. Sometimes you have to defend the seemingly indefensible for a good reason. Recently, four federal prosecutors resigned after the Department of Justice overrode their filed sentencing recommendation for the sentencing phase of Roger Stone’s trial. For those unacquainted with Mr. Stone, he is a political operative that rose to fame (or infamy depending on who you ask) working for President Nixon. Stone even has a tattoo of a smiling Richard Nixon on his back. Stone was convicted last November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstructing Congress in an investigation, and witness tampering.

But what did he really lie about? Well, he claimed to have access and a conduit to Wikileaks which he claimed was in possession of some 19,000 emails purloined from the server of the Democratic Party. Stone’s lie was to say he had such access and then lie to Congress to conceal the fact that he had no such access. He compounded this by then trying to get a friend and witness to back his account about how much he really didn’t know about what he had claimed to know.

And for the crime of being a blowhard who didn’t want anyone to find out he was a blowhard, the prosecutors trying Stone want to put him away for the rest of his life. Stone is 67 years old and the sentencing recommendation by the government was to lock him up between 87 and 108 months. Stone is a first offender and there are violent felonies like armed robbery that won’t get you 7-9 years in “The Clink.” When Stone was found guilty the prosecutors wanted the judge to put him in jail pending sentencing, which is generally only done in the case of violent offenders or those who pose a serious flight risk. Clearly, the prosecutors did not like Roger Stone.