Roger Stone seeks to delay prison, citing virus concerns

The motion filed by Stone’s attorneys on Tuesday afternoon is somewhat more reserved in their language. Lawyers Seth Ginsberg and Grant Smith say it could be “deadly” for Stone to be exposed to the virus behind bars.

“This motion is based on the exceptional circumstances arising from the serious and possibly fatal risk that he would face in the close confines of a Prison Office facility, depending on his age and medical conditions,” the attorneys wrote in their filing with the US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

In a video posted to Instagram on Friday, Stone said the United States Attorney’s Office rejected his request to delay the date of his prison report, but Stone’s attorneys said in their court filing Tuesday that prosecutors were not They opposed giving him an additional two months to report.

The defense contacted the United States Attorney’s Office to determine its position on this motion, and was informed that, based on guidance from the Department of Justice and the United States Executive Office of Attorneys on handling of the voluntary surrender dates during the pandemic at the moment in time, does not preclude a 60-day extension of Stone’s surrender date, ”wrote Ginsberg and Smith.

Jackson appears not to have taken that representation to the letter. In a brief order Tuesday night, he ordered prosecutors to submit something “in writing” on Thursday, explaining the reasons for his stance. She has not indicated whether she plans to hold a hearing on the motion.

Stone’s attorneys say they told him to report to federal prison in Jesup, Georgia, next Tuesday. Jackson is being asked to give him until September 3 to do so.
The Bureau of Prisons website that tracks coronavirus outbreaks in the federal prison system does not report any past or present cases among inmates or Jesup staff. However, Stone’s attorneys note that the data shows that the prison currently has 25 pending prisoner tests.

Jackson also ordered prosecutors to provide any results of those tests that are available by Thursday.

The defense’s public presentation is vague about Stone’s health conditions, but his lawyers filed a medical report with the judge under seal on Tuesday.

In Stone’s sentencing in February, Jackson acknowledged that he suffered from unspecified health and anxiety problems, but said those problems did not appear to prevent him from maintaining a solid travel schedule.

“Public appearances or private meetings do not appear to be compromised by his health,” the judge said at the time.

Stone’s motion to delay his sentence comes when a prosecutor who quit Stone’s case for what he perceived as political interference in the government’s sentencing recommendation prepares to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

Prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky says he believes the interference was due to pressure from the Justice Department to do Trump a political favor. Attorney General William Barr acknowledged ordering the department to suspend the recommended 7-9 year prison term, but he insisted on a statement Tuesday that he did not act on Trump’s request and never discussed the sentence with him or others at the Casa. Blanca.

Stone’s video in one of his social media posts on Tuesday shows a picture of a news story about the written testimony that Zelinsky presented before his appearance. “Dirty Police Alert,” says the text overlay on the story. “TOTAL B — S —“

After a week-long trial in November, a jury in Washington, DC, convicted Stone on seven felony charges related to efforts to thwart federal investigations into alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Five of the charges involved false statements to the House Intelligence Committee. Stone was also convicted of obstruction of Congress and witness tampering for trying to dissuade an associate from testifying before Congress and speaking to investigators with special counsel Robert Mueller.

In a video posted online last week, Stone said he would seek bail for the release pending appeal, which he has not yet done. However, even if Stone rejects his efforts to win a delay of his sentence in court, he may never see jail.

“I feel an obligation to seek all legal options and exhaust them before going to the President of the United States and asking for a pardon or commutation of sentence in the name of mercy and justice,” Stone said.

Stone notes in the videos that several people who are opponents of Trump or who cooperated with the Mueller investigation, including Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, and Rick Gates, have been released from jail due to COVID-19 concerns. It does not mention that the most famous person convicted in Mueller’s investigation, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was also released on virus-related grounds last month.

“I was convicted because I refused to lie about President Donald Trump. I defended it. I need you to defend me, “Stone says in one of the messages, which include repeated pleas for donations to his defense fund.