- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 30, 2020

President Trump’s longtime confidante Roger Stone on Thursday filed an appeal of his criminal conviction for witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia in 2016.

Stone, GOP political operative, filed a notice appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which officially starts the clock on his bid to overturn his conviction and a 40-month jail sentence.

“I Roger Stone, hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from the above-stated judgment and order, the sentence imposed and all underlying orders,” he wrote in the motion.

The filing doesn’t hint at the argument Stone will offer on appeal, but it did include U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling earlier this month denying Stone’s bid for a new trial based on claims of juror bias.

Stone sought a new trial by arguing that jury forewoman Tomeka Hart lied to the court by failing to disclose social media posts about Stone and Mr. Trump.

Judge Jackson denied the new trial, concluding that Ms. Hart did not mislead the court and scolded Stone’s attorneys for not researching more thoroughly potential jurors.

Judge Jackson had ordered Stone to report to federal prison to begin his sentence no earlier than Thursday.

The filing Thursday says Stone remains out on bail, but his attorneys did not request that he remain free while they weigh his appeal, which could take months.

It is not clear how the coronavirus crisis will impact Stone’s prison sentence. The virus has forced many federal prisons to stop or delay accepting new inmates, especially the elderly offenders or those with medical conditions.

At 67, Stone might be a candidate for home confinement. Attorney General William P. Barr last month ordered federal prison officials to consider home incarceration for inmates at risk of the virus.

Stone said last week that he was “praying for a pardon” from Mr. Trump. Although that pardon hasn’t materialized, Mr. Trump did offer some support in a tweet Thursday morning.

“Does anybody really believe that Roger Stone, a man whose house was raided early in the morning by 29 gun toting FBI Agents (with Fake News @CNN closely in toe), was treated fairly. How about the jury forewoman with her unannounced hatred & bias. Same scammers as General Flynn!” Mr. Trump tweeted after unsealed court documents raised questions in the case of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

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