Roger Stone Sentenced; Far-Right Terror Attack in Germany
What lies ahead for our planet find out on an extraordinary trip with the Wall Street Journal and National Geographic Expeditions. Book now at NAT. Go EXPEDITION DOT COM SLASH WSJ or call. Eight eight eight two. Oh five five six two one. President trump isn't pardoning longtime ally Roger Stone at least not yet and I'm following this very closely and I want to see it play out to its fullest because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion we'll look at where the stone case is headed next and yesterday a shootings in an immigrant community in. Germany are fueling a tense political debate over the rise of far-right extremism the government of doing everything in his power to crack down on on on these things essentially however for for the immigrant populations dissertation is becoming more difficult. It's Thursday February twentieth. I'm emory for totally for the Wall Street Journal. Here's what's news. 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And the Ad Council Roger Stone Longtime Friend and advisor to president trump was sentenced to three years and four months in prison today in November. He was convicted on charges of lying to Congress obstruction and witness tampering. The sentencing comes after a turbulent couple of weeks where the Justice Department reduced its sentencing recommendation. And the government's trial lawyers withdrew from the case this afternoon. President trump who criticized the handling of the case Sagnol? He had no immediate plans to pardon stone but could in the future. I'm not GONNA do anything. In terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States. I want the process to play out. I think that's the best thing to do. Because I'd love to see Roger Exonerated and I'd love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly joining me now from Washington to dig into the latest developments is Wall Street Journal. Reporter arena viswanath. Aw So arena. We just heard. President TRUMP SPEAK ABOUT ROGER. Stone's case a big question that's been looming over. It has been whether or not the president will. Pardon him as we just heard. President trump intends to let the process play out. What's your analysis of what we just heard from him this afternoon right so it sounds like he's definitely not going to be issuing any part in right now and he said he wants to see the process. Play out 'em. He seems to be very optimistic. That Roger Stone will get a new trial because he thinks that the jury forewoman was biased. she she did run for Congress as a Democrat and had posted some disparaging things about Republicans and trump on her social media feeds and he. Roger Soon has requested a new trial based on that. What's not so clear is if that request for new trial is actually going to be granted. There's a lot we still don't exactly know about about this request because it was filed under seal in secret and so we can't actually read all all of this just yet but we do know that. The Justice Department trump's own justice department in Attorney General William Bar signed off on the Justice Department's opposition to this request for a new trial so they don't seem to think that there's any legitimate reason to grant Roger Stone in new trial and we have transcripts from jury selection where this juror very clearly said that she had run for Congress as a Democrat and Roger. Stone's own lawyers asked her a little bit about this and and said do you think that would prejudice you from looking at Roger. Stone's case fairly an on its own terms and she said no and they didn't challenge her so there's a lot of moving parts on this still but I think we're waiting to see what happens with this request and then after that. How trump reacts so let's back up to just a few hours ago and stone sentencing which caps off a tumultuous few days were the Justice Department revised its sentencing recommendation. Ultimately stone did end up with a sentencing much less severe than that initial recommendation. What can you tell us about how? The judge ultimately arrived at her sentencing decision today so these are pretty complicated Sort of legal in almost math questions that go into how judges and prosecutors reach these kinds of decisions about just what Justin righteous punishment might look like so prosecutors rely on these sentencing guidelines that. Give them a number that they then proposed to the court and the court can make its own makeup its own mind and often likes to look at comparable cases and see what other judges imposed in those cases. And then maybe issue a sentence in line with those and so the guideline calculations ended up with this seven to nine year recommendation which the judge said in which a lot of people said sounded too high for someone who's sixty seven and essentially engaged in a non violent crime and is unlikely to be a repeat offender in any sense and so she looked at comparable cases. She found the one of scooter. Libby the former aide to vice president. Dick Cheney had been convicted of obstruction of justice and sentenced to thirty months and so she used that as a guide and ended up at forty. Okay so a ruined. The story certainly isn't over just quite yet. What's next so we're definitely waiting to see what Joe Jackson does with this request for a new trial and then after that it's let's see what the president does On any pardon that's Wall Street. Journal reporter Ronan Viswanathan joining us from Washington. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on Wednesday night. At least nine. People were killed an immigrant neighborhood near Frankfurt in Germany authorities. Say the gunman who was found dead at his house early. The following day had written a screed called for the extermination of entire ethnic groups. The shootings have reignited a debate over the rise of far-right extremism in the country. Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a televised address that racism was a poison that was likely behind the assault and other recent crimes in Germany. Joining me now from Berlin is Wall Street Journal reporter boy on Pinchot scheme boy on this attack bear some similarities with other recent acts of violence including the October shootings and Hala. Yes that's correct in. Germany has in the last years experienced a surge of these far-right attacks perpetrated by far-right suspects or neo. Nazis delivers to place on on Wednesday night. Holly took place in October when as far right. Activists attacked aim Synagogue in June last year a pro immigration politician was murdered in front of his home by a new not. Who's now on trial so this this has been something that's that's picked up in recent time and are now scrambling to do something about it. Authorities also say the suspected shooter in the Frankfurt attacks had racist motivations and the attack appears to have targeted the Turkish community which has a large presence in Germany. What are you hearing from authorities about that target at attack? Indeed that's what the prosecutor said in his brief statement today Essentially the the perpetrator had published on his website a lengthy rambling text which the prosecutor referred to as his sort of manifesto in which he espouses racist views he actually cold for the genocide of of entire nations and ethnic groups also within Germany. He was talking about pure blooded Germans and people who have German passports but are not actually pure Germans and they needed to get rid of according to his writing essentially. He attacked an area of his town that was populated largely by people of immigrant background. He attacked two she SHUMBA. Rs Shisha bars bars. These places where where people from Turkey or from the Middle East enjoy smoking. A waterpipe there. particularly popular among the immigrant population. All OF HIS VICTIMS SAFER. His mother were of immigrant origin. Nine people he shot where of immigrant origin. And they happen. I mean the majority of them happened to be Turkish because the Germany and especially of Germany. There's launch Turkey's population knowing that the the fact is also that this person appears to have been mentally unstable the prosecutors indicated that it's it's perfectly obvious from the document. They called his manifesto. He's talking about you. Know he's basically ranting about being surveilled by secret services by Haitiens. He's talking Hollywood celebrities. He's talking about soccer so clearly. There is very strong element of of serve mental illness that perhaps was also behind his actions. What are we hearing from the leaders of Germany and Turkey? And how might this attack and the reality of the rise of far-right extremism impact relations between the two countries? Will basically medical. The Chancellor of Germany almost immediately reacted to this tragedy with a televised press conference. She quite clearly said that the government of Germany the institution of state in herself personally will not allow Germany to be divided by those who seek to divide. It took a very strong stand in favor of of this multiethnic multicultural multifaith society that Germany is today the president of Turkey Elder gun also commented albeit briefly. He said he trusted German. Authorities to deal with the matter in all of his aspects however he's investor to Germany was much more outspoken. He identified what he called institutional racism in the country. So I I mean I think the relationship will probably not suffer for from it because the government of Germany doing everything in his power to crack down on on on these things essentially however for for the immigrant population. Dissertation is becoming more difficult of mainstream politicians from hunger. Michaels on Conservative Party rally. Today against the far-right opposition. There is a position party in Germany. Coal the alternative for Germany. Which has been campaigning for five years. Now or so on a very strongly anti-immigrant anti-islam ticket so senior officials from miracles. Party has accused Default Raido position of of sort of creating an atmosphere of tolerance. They have accused them of using this language against migrants against Muslims Stat. Makes it possible for people to radicalize themselves in the way that these shooters? These gunmen have radicalized themselves. In the past few incidents that's Wall Street Journal reporter boy on Panchev ski joining us from Berlin. Thank you so much boy on you. And that's what's news for this Thursday afternoon if you like our show please rate and review US wherever you get your podcasts. I'm angry for totally for the wall. Street Journal thanks for listening.