Prosecution witness asks judge not to send Roger Stone to prison

A longtime associate of Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneDOJ puts its integrity in doubt by interfering with immigration courts The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence taps health official to aid coronavirus response The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump on US coronavirus risks: 'We're very, very ready for this' MORE is urging a federal judge not to send him to prison following the right-wing political operative's conviction on seven counts of lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Randy Credico, an activist and radio host who's known Stone for years, was on the receiving end of the witness tampering. Evidence introduced by prosecutors during trial showed Stone repeatedly — and often with vulgar language — threatened Credico to not cooperate with a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But in a letter to D.C. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, on Thursday, Credico said that he did not take any of those threats seriously and that he believes Stone does not deserve to go to prison.

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"I understand that Roger Stone has broken federal laws, but a prison sentence is beyond what is required in this case," Credico wrote. "It is not justice. It is cruelty."

Stone was convicted of lying to Congress about his role as a liaison between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks in 2016, as the organization was releasing damaging information hacked from the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign.

Stone had told a congressional committee that Credico had served as a back channel to WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeHillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Lawyer says Assange tried to warn White House, Clinton about dump of diplomatic cables The Hill's Morning Report - Can Sanders be stopped? MORE and claimed not to have any communications between the two. But prosecutors told the jury that the two had extensive text and email conversations about WikiLeaks and that Stone used Credico as a scapegoat to shield his real back channel, a conspiracy theorist named Jerome Corsi.

Credico testified against Stone during the trial, detailing a bizarre relationship between the two and confirming that his friend pressured him into not cooperating with investigators. But Credico on Thursday wrote in his letter that he did not take any of the threats seriously and that Stone's sometimes outlandish behavior should not send him to prison.

"Roger Stone certainly rubs a lot of people the wrong way, particularly those on the receiving end of his wee hour lowbrow character attacks," Credico wrote. "Stone enjoys playing adolescent mind games and pulling off juvenile stunts, gags and pranks. He shamelessly invents and promotes outlandish and invidious conspiracy tales."

Stone's convictions could potentially land him in prison for as long as 50 years, but as a first-time offender he will likely face a far more lenient sentence. His sentencing is set for Feb. 20.