Roger Stone begs Trump for pardon days before prison term set to begin

The US Court of Appeals in Washington on Tuesday ordered the government to file its response by 9 July. Stone, who is due to report to prison on 14 July, filed an emergency appeal on Monday after US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied his motion to set a 3 September surrender date.

The Justice Department did not oppose Stone’s request to Jackson.

Republican operative Roger Stone made a naked appeal to Donald Trump to grant him a pardon or commute his sentence before he starts a 40-month prison term on 14 July.

“I want the president to know that I have exhausted all my legal remedies and that only an act of clemency will provide justice in my case and save my life!” Stone said in a statement sent by text on Tuesday.

Stone’s statement came after the US government was ordered by a federal appeals court to respond to his request to delay the start of his 40-month prison term as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress during the Russia investigation, claims in his appeals court filing that his age and an underlying health condition made him particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.

Current conditions inside federal prisons would “render Stone at grave risk of serious complications if infected with Covid-19”, his lawyer, Seth Ginsberg, said in his filing with the appeals court on Monday

Jackson denied Stone’s request but extended his surrender date by two weeks, ordering him to remain confined to his home during that time. She noted in her ruling that in similar cases the US had opposed so-called compassionate release from jails where there is not yet an outbreak, even when an inmate older than Stone had the same condition.

Stone said Tuesday he did not think the Justice Department would support his bid for further delay and a presidential act was the only thing that could keep from prison.

“I want to live long enough for my appeal to be heard because my appeal will expose the misconduct of the judge, the misconduct of the jury forewoman, the misconduct of at least one other juror and the criminal misconduct of the prosecutors; therefore I am highly confident of exoneration on appeal,” Stone said.

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