Fox News hosts lash out at "insane" recommendation for nine years of prison time for Roger Stone

The Trump associate was convicted of making false statements to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 12, 2020 6:55PM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A pair of Fox News on Tuesday hosts called for leniency to be showered upon Roger Stone, the former adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign turned convicted felon.

Tucker Carlson described Stone as "a 67-year-old man with no criminal record caught up in the Russia hoax." The following hour, his colleague Sean Hannity characterized the nine-year sentence recommended by prosecutors as "insane."

On rival MSNBC, host Nicolle Wallace accused the president and allies of seeking to erase the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.

"They are seeking Donald Trump and William Barr to erase all of the crimes that were prosecuted by Mueller's team, and there is no other way to say it," Wallace said Tuesday. "They are seeking to erase a chapter that Donald Trump was always embarrassed by, always felt exposed by and that happened to reveal many of the people around him as felons."

Four prosecutors working on Stone's case withdrew Tuesday after the Justice Department announced that it would reverse course on the recommended sentence of nine years. Aaron Zelinsky, who was a member of former special counsel Robert Mueller's team, said in a court filing that he also "resigned as an assistant United States attorney." The department's intervention in the case came after Trump referred to the Stone sentencing recommendation as a "miscarriage of justice."

Stone was convicted in November of making false statements to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice in the Mueller probe. And he is not alone among Trump associates who found themselves in legal hot water following the last presidential election. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Manafort deputy Rick Gates have also been convicted of various crimes.

Stone insisted to Salon in 2017 that Democrats did not want him to testify, because "if I'm allowed to do so, I will put the lie to this Russian myth based on what we're learning today. I think we'll have confirmation that I was the subject of a FISA warrant back in June. That would mean that the government's been looking in all my emails and texts and my phone, you know, monitoring my phone conversations."

He added, "They may find out a lot of interesting things, but what they won't find is any contact or coordination with any Russians ever to Russia. Never spoken to anybody in Russia in the last five years."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Cable News Donald Trump Fox News Politics Roger Stone Sean Hannity Trump Impeachment Tucker Carlson