Law360 (July 6, 2020, 11:35 PM EDT) -- Roger Stone told a D.C. federal appeals court on Monday that a lower court hadn't properly considered the longtime conservative operative's susceptibility to COVID-19 when ordering him to report to prison in a matter of weeks, rather than months, as he'd requested.
Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison earlier this year for obstructing probes into Russian election interference, witness tampering and lying to Congress. But the close ally of President Donald Trump filed an emergency motion with the D.C. Circuit on Monday, saying U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson hadn't properly considered his request to delay reporting for prison until September.
"The district court largely failed to address the evidence that Stone provided that demonstrates that he is at considerable risk from serious health consequences, including death, if his surrender date is not extended," the 67-year-old said, pointing to the ongoing global pandemic, which has particularly affected incarcerated people.
The self-described political "dirty trickster" also argued Judge Jackson hadn't given proper deference to the government's policy of taking the COVID-19 pandemic into account when deciding whether to seek detention for criminal defendants. Moreover, he said the judge hadn't properly analyzed the legal precedents.
In Judge Jackson's order, unsealed last week, she said Stone can report to prison on July 14, though he'll have to remain in home confinement until then.
Judge Jackson said that there aren't currently any cases of COVID-19 at the prison where Stone is set to serve his sentence. She also said that Stone has a medical condition that may make him more susceptible to the virus, but it "appears to be — as it has been for some time — medically controlled."
Moreover, the judge said that unlike other criminal defendants who had been granted longer extensions of their surrender dates, Stone had run afoul of the judicial system in myriad ways.
But Stone's attorney David I. Schoen told Law360 that the prison where Stone is assigned does indeed have COVID-19 cases. He also accused Judge Jackson of political motivations.
"She just cannot be fair to Roger Stone and she has proved it in outrageous move after move," Schoen said. "She seems to think she strikes at the president when she unfairly punished Roger Stone. She has politicized the process every step of the way."
The government, which didn't oppose Stone's request for an extension of his surrender date to September, didn't respond on Monday to a request for comment.
The government is represented by Elizabeth Trosman of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
Stone is represented by the Law Office of Seth Ginsberg and the Law Office of David I. Schoen.
The appeal U.S. v. Stone, case number 20-3033, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The district court case is U.S. v. Stone, case number 1:19-cr-00018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
--Editing by Emily Kokoll.
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