Court is in session

Updating to add the conclusion: 40 months.

The Guardian live is following the hearing in Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s court.

The federal prosecutors and Roger Stone’s lawyers argued in court over whether the former Trump associate had obstructed his own criminal case by posting about it on social media.

As a reminder, Stone was slapped with an expanded gag order last year after he posted an Instagram appearing to show Judge Amy Berman Jackson and the crosshairs of a gun.

Jackson warned in court today that the post could have incited violence against her and merited a sentencing enhancement, denouncing Stone’s behavior as “intolerable.”

Awww just a bit of boyish fun.

Under questioning from Judge Amy Berman Jackson, federal prosecutor John Crabb defended the original prosecutors who carried out Roger Stone’s case.

Crabb, who signed on to the revised sentencing recommendation last week, blamed the change on a “misunderstanding,” saying the original prosecutors received the proper approvals for their recommendation of seven to nine years in prison.

Is “a misunderstanding” code for “intervention by Trump”? Because that’s what happened. Trump intervened, Barr intervened, all four prosecutors quit the case.

“This prosecution was, and this prosecution is, righteous,” Crabb said.

But Crabb would not directly answer Jackson’s questions about whether he was ordered to sign the revised sentencing recommendation, which came after Trump criticized the original recommendation.

Crabb argued that process was a matter of internal deliberations, but he expressed confidence in Jackson’s eventual sentence. “We are confident the court will impose a fair and just sentence in this matter,” he said.

Law people were asking each other on Twitter if a prosecutor can even do that – refuse to answer a judge’s questions.

Judge Jackson

criticized Trump’s tweets about Roger Stone’s case, calling the president’s comments “entirely inappropriate.”

But the judge made clear she would not be swayed by Trump’s comments or arguments from Stone’s critics calling for a stiffer sentence.

“Roger Stone will not be sentenced for who his friends are or who his enemies are,” Jackson said.

It’s going to be less than what the prosecutors recommended.

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