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Roger Stone arriving for his sentencing hearing. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes that include obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Why it matters: Stone is the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced for crimes unearthed by former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. His case has been at the heart of ongoing tensions between President Trump and his Justice Department.

What they're saying: Judge Amy Berman Jackson said just prior to his sentencing that Stone "was not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president." She also said that he "will not be sentenced for who his friends are, or who his enemies are."

  • "The truth still matters. Roger Stone's insistence that it doesn't" poses a threat to "the very foundation of this democracy," she added.

The backdrop: A federal jury convicted Stone last year after he lied to Congress about his efforts to learn more about when WikiLeaks would publish damaging emails about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

  • Last week, the Justice Department submitted a new sentencing recommendation for Stone, recommending less than the seven to nine years in prison originally suggested by career prosecutors without providing specifics.
  • The Justice Department's move came after Trump tweeted that the original recommendation was a "miscarriage of justice" that he "cannot allow," though the president denied speaking with Justice officials about the case.
  • The four career prosecutors who tried Stone withdrew from the case after the revised recommendation was submitted, prompting Trump to congratulate Attorney General Bill Barr for "taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought."

The big picture: Both the sentencing about-face and Trump's continued comments on Stone's case have led to headaches for Barr.

Worth noting: It remains to be seen whether Trump will move to pardon Stone. The president claimed that he "hadn't given it any thought" when asked about the possibility after he granted clemency to nearly a dozen individuals earlier this week.

  • Trump tweeted in the midst of the hearing, claiming without evidence that Hillary Clinton and former FBI officials James Comey and Andrew McCabe also lied to Congress.
  • Stone has already filed to request a new trial, which will delay his reporting date to prison until it is resolved— granting the president additional time to act.

What they're saying: At an event for graduates of the Hope for Prisoners program, Trump signaled that he would wait for Stone's appeal to play out before acting: "I’m not going to 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 would love to see Roger exonerated."

  • He also accused the jury forewoman of being tainted by anti-Trump social media posts: "Roger Stone and everybody have got to be treated fairly and this has not been a fair process."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 39 mins ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump dogs "dull" DeSantis ahead of potential 2024 matchup

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Donald Trump is trashing Ron DeSantis in private as an ingrate with a "dull personality" and no realistic chance of beating him in a potential 2024 showdown, according to sources who've recently talked to the former president about the Florida governor.

Why it matters: The two are among the most popular Republicans in the country, and as the former president eyes another run in 2024, he's irked by DeSantis' popularity and refusal to rule out running against him.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy.
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker