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Federal Judge Orders Roger Stone to Fulfill Several Obligations if He Wants to Avoid Paul Manafort’s Fate


Former Trump adviser and long-time confidant to the president Roger Stone was arraigned on Tuesday in Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson‘s Washington, D.C. courtroom. Stone, as expected, entered a plea of not guilty to charges of witness tampering, obstructing a congressional proceeding, and five counts of making false statements to Congress.

Stone came and went from the federal courthouse, and onlookers greeted him with “lock him up” chants. Like Paul Manafort, Stone’s former lobbying partner for decades, Stone is out of jail ahead of trial. Also like Paul Manafort, Stone is going to have to abide by a set of rules if he wishes for that to continue.

Judge Robinson has set the conditions for Stone’s release, and there are several of them.

First and foremost, Stone can’t break the law. Second, he must supply a DNA sample if authorized. Third, Stone must “advise the cost or the pretrial services office or supervising officer in writing before making any change of residence or telephone number.” Fourth, Stone must appear in court as required. The next appearance has is scheduled to take place on February 1 before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who happens to be presiding over Manafort’s cooperation breach dispute. Stone will also have to sign an appearance bond if he is ordered to do so.

Other requirements that were checked off: Stone must submit to supervision by DC Pretrial Services, hand in his passport, not get another passport or “international travel document,” and may only travel to Florida, New York, Washington, D.C. and the Eastern District of Virginia. He has to notify DC Pretrial Services before and after travel.

Nor may Stone possess a firearm, “destructive device,” or “other weapon.”

Stone has been warned that if he does not comply with these conditions he will be eligible for specified sanctions, such as: the “immediate issuance of a warrant for [his] arrest,” “revocation of [his] release” and an “order of detention” (which is what happened to Manafort). Other penalties could include contempt of court, with possible imprisonment and/or a fine.

If Stone commits a felony while he is out on pretrial release he can be punished by a prison term of up to 10 years. A misdemeanor offense could result in imprisonment of no more than a year. Some of the felonies mentioned included charges Stone already faces, like witness tampering. Obstruction of a criminal investigation was also mentioned by name.

Order Setting Conditions of… on Scribd

[Image via Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.