GOP strategist Roger Stone drops appeal of felony convictions

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, speaks to reporters after testifying before the House intelligence committee on Russian interference in the 2016 election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 26, 2017. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Aug. 19 (UPI) — Republican political strategist Roger Stone has dropped his appeal for multiple federal felony convictions that are connected to the Russia investigation.

Stone was found guilty last fall on seven counts that included obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering. He was sentenced to 40 months in prison, but President Donald Trump commuted the term last month.

Stone’s punishment became political when U.S. Attorney General William Barr disagreed with federal prosecutors’ recommendation of seven to nine years in prison. Before he was sentenced, Stone had been working on the appeal for his case.

On Monday night, Stone dropped the appeal shortly before his attorneys filed a brief challenging his original conviction and demanding a new trial.

“On the strong advice of my attorneys and after giving the decision considerable thought, I have reluctantly decided to dismiss the appeal of what I believe to be a wrongful conviction in a trial tainted by judicial bias, egregious and blatant juror bias and misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct,” Stone wrote on his personal website Tuesday.

Stone has complained about his prosecution, which was part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation that looked for evidence of collusion between Moscow and Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential campaign. He said anti-Trump bias in the courts would have put him at a disadvantage in receiving a new trial.

“I am eternally grateful that the president saw the injustices in my case, and given my age and health, commuted my sentence, literally to save my life,” Stone added. “He never should have been put in the position of having to do so, but he was.”


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