Roger Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison after he was convicted of lying to Congress, obstructing justice, and witness tampering as a result of his efforts to derail an FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Despite ongoing concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on older individuals, Stone has been ordered to report to prison on June 30, according to the Washington Examiner.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson reportedly ordered him to begin serving his sentence by the end of this month, but she has pushed that date back by one month.
“I will NOT be quarantined”
Nevertheless, Stone wrote on Instagram this week that he is concerned his time behind bars will become a death sentence — especially considering the continued spread of COVID-19.
“The Bureau of Prisons has changed the date … of my surrender to June 30 but I will NOT be quarantined for Covid-19,” he wrote.
In addition to the prison term, Stone has been ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release upon the completion of his sentence.
His claims about quarantine appear to be a reference to reports that he was not instructed to abide by a new Bureau of Prisons directive that inmates will be processed through a unit set aside for isolation and testing.
“A very good chance of exoneration”
Bureau spokesperson Scott Taylor explained that newly sentenced inmates would be screened and quarantined, with those who test positive placed in isolation until they no longer show traces of the virus. Since Stone will be surrendering voluntarily, he appears to be exempt.
In addition to an ongoing appeal of his conviction and sentence, Stone might have another path by which he avoids incarceration. Trump could issue a commutation or full pardon for his onetime top adviser, though the president has declined to confirm or deny whether he would consider such a grant of clemency.
He has, however, expressed outrage over the way he believes Stone’s case was mishandled, particularly because of what he has described as a “tainted” jury.
“I want to see it played out to its fullest, because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration,” Trump said a short time after Stone was sentenced.
Whatever the outcome happens to be, even those who believe Stone deserves to serve prison time hope he can pay his debt to society without it becoming the death sentence he fears it could be.