Pre-Trial Rulings Offer Some Hope for Stone but the Game Is Still Rigged Against Him

Roger Stone

Roger Stone is scheduled to go on trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on November 5th.

As previously reported, Stone is facing the following charges:
– Count 1: Obstruction of Proceeding
– Count 2-6: False Statements
– Count 7: Witness Tampering

Stone’s case is a classic example of prosecutors bundling together as many charges as possible in order to “encourage” the defendant to take a plea deal rather than go to trial (That’s one of the primary reasons why 97% of federal criminal cases end up being resolved via plea deals).

In Stone’s case, he should be facing one count of lying to Congress – a crime that, if he were convicted, could result in him being fined up to $100,000 and spending up to 5-years in federal prison.

If that were the case, he would undoubtedly go to trial because even if he were found guilty, his maximum sentence would be 5-years.

But, instead, Stone is facing 50-years in prison.

Roger Stone

Whether he will actually go to trial – which he has vowed to do – remains to be seen.

But in the meantime, the presiding judge in his case, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, has already begun to issue rulings on a variety of pre-trial motions.


New Ruling Gives Stone Access to More Documents

In a ruling that was issued earlier this week, Judge Jackson ordered the government to allow Stone more access to the unredacted portions of Robert Mueller’s 448-page “Special Counsel’s Report”.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson

But she also denied him access to other unredacted sections of the Mueller report – which, based on her own personal review, she said, “revealed that the material defendant hoped to find under the redactions was not there.”

Stone had argued that he needs the full Mueller report in order to show that he was singled out for prosecution because of his political views and affiliations.

But Jackson wrote that “Stone puts forth absolutely no evidence that his relationship to the campaign or the candidate motivated the Special Counsel’s decision to investigate and prosecute him.”


Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss

Judge Jackson also rejected Stone’s motion to dismiss the pending indictment against him for a variety of reasons – including the fact that Stone’s alleged lying to a Congressional Committee had never been referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution (Stone was the last person to be indicted by Mueller before the investigation was closed down).

In doing so, she said, “There is no precedent that would authorize the dismissal of an indictment based on pure conjecture, nor has the defendant pointed to any authority that holds that an alleged violation of internal House committee rules could invalidate an indictment returned by a grand jury”.

Should Roger Stone be facing 50 years in prison?

Judge Jackson also blamed Stone for bringing attention to himself by publicly releasing his remarks before the Congressional hearing – “and by holding a press conference – while still on Capitol Hill – immediately afterwards”.

Apparently, Judge Jackson is not a big fan of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. You remember that amendment, right – it’s the one that talks about freedom of speech.


The “Trial Penalty”

The term “trial penalty” refers to the substantial difference between the sentence offered as part of a plea deal prior to trial versus the sentence that a defendant receives after trial.

Although judges and prosecutors often deny that there is any such “trial penalty”, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) believes it is real – and that it is destroying the right to a fair trial in the U.S.

As stated on the NACDL website, “This penalty is now so severe and pervasive that it has virtually eliminated the constitutional right to a trial. To avoid the penalty, accused persons must surrender many other fundamental rights which are essential to a fair justice system”.


Big Decisions Ahead for Stone

Roger Stone has about three months to decide whether he’ll take whatever plea deal has been offered by the prosecution or go to trial.

And while there has been no public word as to what type of deal he may have been offered, it would invariably include some amount of time in federal prison.

Roger Stone: Big decisions ahead for him…

The deal would likely require him to plead guilty to one charge of perjury – and perhaps to one count of witness tampering. And it would likely end up with him serving something like 3-5 years in prison.

The alternative would be to go forward with the trial – and risk the possibility of getting what would amount to a death sentence.

And given that his trial is going to be held in Washington, DC, there is an above-average chance that his jury will have more Democrats than Republicans on it.

So many factors to consider…


Author’s Note: I mentioned in an earlier post that CNN just happened to be on the scene when the FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid on Stone’s home to arrest him back in January.

Now comes word that the FBI refused to respond to a FOIA request for any interactions it had with CNN regarding that raid – and that when he appeared before Congress a couple of weeks ago, Robert Mueller refused to respond to a direct question asking him whether any member of his team leaked word of the raid to CNN.

Nothing to see here, folks…just your government at work…

About the author

K.R. Claviger

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[…] Pre-Trial Rulings Offer Some Hope for Stone but the Game Is Still Rigged Against Him […]

4 years ago

Regarding the FBI/CNN collaboration:

Federal and State Law enforcement officers have been leaking impending arrests to the media as far back as Prohibition.

Maybe it was just a ‘hint’ or a deniable slip of the tongue……I am kidding……

Of course the DOJ leaked the impending arrest to the CNN journalist.

The reporter and camera man just happened to be around in wee hours of the morning.

Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies
4 years ago

The story about the abused horses was better

Pea Onyu
Pea Onyu
4 years ago

Stone is no Vanguard. Never will be.

4 years ago
Reply to  Pea Onyu

Yeah, Epstein’s more your type.

Pea Onraniere
Pea Onraniere
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I concur!!

4 years ago

I like Stone. Hope he is ok. What do you think will happen? Can trump give him pardon so he avoids jail time?

Scott Johnson
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Trump can pardon Stone, but he probably won’t until after the 2020 election.

4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Stone won’t need a pardon.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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