Roger Stone case: Timeline of Trump associate’s dramatic prosecution

Roger Stone has been sentenced to more than three years after being convicted of charges of obstruction, witness tampering, and providing false statements to Congress, but the drama surrounding the case continues to unfold.

After being sentenced to 40 months in prison, here is a refresher of what led to this moment.

TRUMP STIRS PARDON SPECULATION WITH CONDEMNATION OF DOJ'S ROGER STONE TREATMENT

Indictment

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Stone on Jan. 24, 2019, on seven charges that included five counts of false statements, one count of obstruction, and one count of witness tampering.

Prosecutors alleged that Stone worked to obstruct the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by making false statements to the committee, denying he had records sought by the committee, and persuading a witness to provide false testimony. The charges were related to communications Stone had related to WikiLeaks and their publication of hacked Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign emails.

Stone has maintained that he's done nothing wrong.

The case stemmed from then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election.

Arrest

Stone was famously arrested at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in a pre-dawn raid by the FBI on Jan. 25, 2019. CNN, which conveniently happened to be staking out Stone's Fort Lauderdale home, posted video of the arrest that showed a team of FBI agents with guns banging on Stone’s door and demanding that he come outside.

“At the crack of dawn, 29 FBI agents arrived at my home with 17 vehicles, with lights flashing, when they could have contacted my lawyer,” Stone explained after a court appearance. “But the FBI agents were extraordinarily courteous.”

At the time, Stone was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong.”

Gag order

Stone spoke to the media extensively in his own defense following his arrest, asserting his innocence. Judge Amy Berman Jackson then issued a limited gag order, forbidding Stone from discussing the case near the courthouse. After Stone then posted an image to Instagram that featured a picture of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs, Jackson completely barred Stone from speaking about the case.

Months later, the judge barred Stone from posting anything on social media after ruling that he violated the gag order with Instagram posts that disparaged the Mueller investigation and the broader election interference probe.

Trial and verdict

Stone’s trial took place over the course of a week in November 2019, but the drama kicked off before opening statements even took place.

During the trial, several witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about emails the U.S. said were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks. Stone was regarded as an “access point” to WikiLeaks, due to his frequent boasts of having insider access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Federal prosecutors argued that Stone intentionally lied about his use of intermediaries to get information about WikiLeaks’ possession and release of hacked Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign emails. They also said Stone hid the truth to protect the Trump campaign.

Stone’s defense, however, maintained that Stone did not have an actual inside connection with WikiLeaks. They also argued that there was reasonable doubt that Stone lied to congressional lawmakers.

Another defense Stone’s team put forward was that there was no way he could have lied about intermediaries between himself and WikiLeaks because there were no intermediaries. Radio host Randy Credico and author Jerome Corsi, who had allegedly been Stone’s go-betweens, never actually communicated with WikiLeaks, the defense said, even if Stone thought they had.

A jury ultimately found Stone guilty on all counts.

Sentencing drama

Federal prosecutors submitted a sentencing memo recommending a sentence of between 87 and 108 months in prison. Trump heavily criticized the recommendation on Twitter, and the Justice Department later submitted a new filing recommending a lighter sentence.

“The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the Stone case last night,” a senior DOJ official told Fox News. “The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.”

Federal prosecutors withdrew from the case after senior officials made the change.

Democrats including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal demanded that Attorney General William Barr resign, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for a DOJ Inspector General investigation into the change of position, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., went so far as to say that a second impeachment of the president was not “off the table.”

The drama only continued from there, when jury foreperson Tomeka Hart was reported as posting on social media in support of the prosecutors who had stepped down. It was then discovered that Hart had posted messages on Twitter and Facebook in the past that suggested a political bias.

A spokesperson for Stone, Grant Smith, told Fox News at the time that Stone’s legal team was looking into how to handle this development.

“Mr. Stone and his defense team are diligently reviewing the newly reported information to determine any appropriate next steps,” Smith said in a statement.

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Sentence

At a Feb. 20 hearing, Judge Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison, stating that his "utter disrespect" for the rule of law warranted punishment.

Stone was released pending the outcome of a motion for a new trial, with the gag order still in place pending the outcome of the motion. Stone was also fined $20,000 and his travel is restricted pending the motion and an expected appeal.

Still, there is widespread speculation President Trump could ultimately pardon Stone.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Jake Gibson, David Spunt, Edmund DeMarche, Gregg Re, Marisa Schultz, Griff Jenkins and Bill Mears contributed to this report.