- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 2, 2020

Roger Stone said Friday that the start of his prison sentence has been delayed a month due to the novel coronavirus pandemic — and that he is praying in the meantime for a pardon.

Stone, President Trump’s convicted former adviser, said during a television interview that he learned Wednesday that the Bureau of Prisons postponed his surrender date by 30 days.

Appearing on camera wearing a “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” face mask and matching t-shirt, he said that he previously assumed he would have to surrender on Thursday, April 30.

Stone has instead remained free while he and his lawyers pursue different options to potentially keep him from starting his federal prison sentence at all.

“I have not formally applied for a pardon, although that is not required,” Stone told 7 News Miami during the interview. “I have not directly or indirectly asked for a pardon, although that is not required. I have prayed fervently to God for a pardon.”

Stone, who served as an early adviser to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, was indicted early last year as a result of the government’s investigation into the 2016 election. He was subsequently found guilty of all charges — seven counts of obstruction, lying under oath and witness tampering – and was sentenced in February to spend 40 months behind bars.

Lawyers representing Stone previously asked for a retrial, but they were denied by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on April 16 and told he would have to start serving his prison sentence as early as two weeks later.

Stone’s lawyers have since begun the process of challenging his trial and sentencing in federal appeals court. He told 7 News Miami he expects the appeal could last up to two years.

More than 1 million cases of COVID-19, the contagious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, have been confirmed within the U.S. since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Stone, 67, previously argued it would be a “death sentence” for him to begin serving his prison sentence amid the pandemic due to factors including his advanced age and a history of asthma.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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