With Donald Trump’s negligent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic having taken center stage, the fate of someone like Roger Stone almost feels anticlimactic at this point. But this is a guy who helped Donald Trump criminally conspire with the Kremlin to rig the 2016 election, and he’s been convicted of seven felonies accordingly.
So it’s noteworthy that Roger Stone just lost his appeal for a new trial, meaning he’s set to report to prison in two weeks. He hasn’t yet exhausted his appeals, and it’s not yet clear what he’ll do next. But even if a higher court does agree to take up his case, he’d need that court to also rule that his prison sentence shouldn’t start yet. Short of that, he’ll finally be behind bars by around May 1st.
Donald Trump could issue a pardon for Roger Stone, but there’s still no indication that this will happen. Trump would open a pandora’s box by pardoning his own criminal co-conspirator, setting off a legal battle that could potentially result in the courts ruling that Trump can’t pardon himself or his family on his way out the door. So Trump may be hesitant to pardon Stone, unless Stone begins threatening to reveal the forty years of dirty secrets that he knows about Trump’s personal and criminal life.
Roger Stone could also try to make the argument to the courts that he’d be unsafe in prison due to the coronavirus crisis and his advanced age. But if there are no intervening factors, lifelong criminal Stone will finally be in prison in two weeks. He’s facing a sentence of three-plus years, which he’ll likely have to serve in solitary confinement due to his notoriety. People tend to age very quickly in solitary; it seems unlikely that Stone will ever get out.