The judge explains the decision to reject the delay in Roger Stone’s sentence

Jackson’s opinion, which originally issued under seal on Friday, adds reasons to his decision to deny Stone’s request for a long delay. Stone was convicted in November of repeatedly lying to House of Representatives investigators seeking evidence of Trump’s campaign contacts with Russians interfering in the 2016 US election. He was also found guilty of threatening a witness to prevent the investigation.

In the public version of his order, Stone’s specific medical condition was not identified, although he previously indicated in social media posts that he has a history of asthma and respiratory problems.

Jackson seemed highly doubtful of Stone’s claim that he needed the delay for urgent health reasons. Jackson even quoted the letter Stone sent to his doctor and expressed doubts about Stone’s efforts to distance himself socially as the coronavirus pandemic developed.

“The letter from the accused’s internist said: I recommend that you maintain strict quarantine conditions. . . . . You should not be in any situation that exposes you to the SARSCOV-2 virus. You need to stay at least 6 feet away from people. You should avoid closed rooms with a lot of people, “Jackson wrote, citing the doctor’s note.

“The defendant’s response to the Court’s investigation into his personal preventive practices and the avoidance of public meetings pursuant to these directives was vague, carefully analyzed, and not reassuring,” Jackson said.

In addition, Jackson noted in the five-page opinion that other defendants who were granted extensions of their sentences were not, like Stone, already beneficiaries of a 60-day delay authorized by the Bureau of Prisons. And those other defendants were also not convicted of threatening violence against anyone.

Rather, Mr. Stone was found guilty of threatening a witness, and during the course of these criminal proceedings, the Court was forced to address his repeated attempts to intimidate and stoke potentially violent feelings against a number of participants in the case, including the people involved in the investigation, the juries and the Court, “Jackson wrote.

Jackson praised the Bureau of Prisons policy that allows 60-day delays in prison reporting dates for nonviolent defendants, but emphasized that he hoped it would be applied fairly.

“This is a healthy policy, and the judges and defendants in this court and others will welcome its continued impartial application,” he wrote.

Although Jackson admitted to knowing many of the details of Stone’s conduct prior to his original sentence, which allowed Stone to voluntarily report to the prison rather than immediately send him to a federal facility, Jackson said he would order Stone to prison. He would have immediately required that he be jailed 1,000 miles from his family and that he was not a flight risk.

“[I]It’s fair to say that no one was contemplating that approval of the voluntary surrender could lead to a possible six-month delay in reporting, “added Jackson.

Stone has posted in recent weeks his outrage at his position on Instagram, and has apologized to President Donald Trump. While she did not wear a mask in many of her posts, she did put one in the midst of Jackson’s consideration of her motion to delay her sentence.