A federal judge sentenced political operative Roger Stone to serve 40 months in jail on Thursday, accusing the long-time adviser to Donald Trump of "covering up for the president." U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson also delivered an implicit rebuke to Trump, whose attacks on the judge, jury and prosecutors in the trial roiled the Justice Department and sparked accusations the president was trying to interfere in a criminal case on behalf of a friend.
Judge Jackson appeared to turn Trump's attacks back at him, saying, "there was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution." Stone declined to speak in his defense at sentencing.
As he left the courtroom Thursday, onlookers shouted, "lock him up." Stone told reporters he had nothing to say.
A jury found Stone guilty on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering in a case stemming from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Stone played a small role in Trump's 2016 campaign.
Prosecutors said Stone lied to Congressional investigators about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks, the website that released damaging emails about Trump's Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton that U.S. intelligence officials have concluded were stolen by Russian hackers.
The judge noted that Stone was not part of any conspiracy with Russia.
But she said Stone's effort to obstruct a congressional investigation "was deliberate." Prosecutors last week recommended Stone face up to nine years in jail.
That suggestion enraged the president, who publicly called it "very unfair." Attorney General William Barr quickly intervened and amended the recommendation.
But Barr's apparent acquiescence to Trump prompted four prosecutors to quit the case.
In an interview that week Barr said the president's tweets made it impossible for him to his job.
More than 2,000 former D-O-J employees have since signed a letter calling for Barr to resign.
Undeterred, Trump continued to tweet as the sentencing hearing was underway.
"They say Roger Stone lied to Congress," he wrote.
He then accused a number of his perceived political opponents of other crimes for which they were never charged, and asked, "FAIRNESS?" Trump this week granted clemency to prominent convicted white-collar criminals, and has so far demurred when asked if planned to pardon Stone.
Stone's flamboyant character was a feature of the trial, and the judge took note at his sentencing.
Judge Jackson also said Stone "knew exactly what he was doing" when he posted an image on social media showing cross-hairs over the judge's head.
She accused him of "threatening and intimidating conduct toward the court," which she called "intolerable to the administration of justice." His lawyers have filed a motion for a new trial.
He will not begin his 40 month sentence until after a court hearing on that request.