President Trump Commutes Sentence Of Long-Time Ally Roger Stone

Judge: Stone Sentence Proposal Was Wrong

( The long-awaited move has finally been done: President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of Roger Stone.

Stone, who was convicted of seven felony crimes, was scheduled to report to federal prison in a few days to serve his 40-month prison term.

In announcing the move, the White House released a written statement that said “overzealous prosecutors” convicted Stone on “process-based charges” that stemmed from “witch hunts” and the “Russia hoax” investigation.

The statement didn’t say that Stone was innocent of the charges. It just said they shouldn’t have been pursued because there were no charges filed for conspiracy between the Trump’s campaign and Russia. Stone was charged with obstruction and making false statements to the FBI.

The statement read:

“Roger Stone has already suffered greatly. He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”

Democrats were quick to denounce Trump’s decision, saying it was abuse of the law.

California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who led the push for Trump’s impeachment, said:

“With this commutation, Trump makes clear that there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else.”

New York Democratic Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler said they would immediately begin an investigation surrounding the circumstances of Stone’s commutation. In a statement, they said:

“No other president has exercised the clemency power for such a patently personal and self-serving purpose.”

By commuting Stone’s sentence, Trump is merely changing the sentence to a less severe one. In this case, that means no prison term at all. It does not, however, remove Stone’s guilt in court. In other words, he’s still a convicted felon.

The commutation also received backlash from some in the Republican Party. Utah Senator Mitt Romney tweeted on Saturday:

“Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey called the decision to commute Stone’s sentence a “mistake” because of how severe the charges against him were. He said Trump “clearly has the legal and constitutional authority to grant clemency for federal crimes,” but doing so was not appropriate in this case. He continued:

“While I understand the frustration with the badly flawed Russia-collusion investigation, in my view, commuting Roger Stone’s sentence is a mistake. He was duly convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of a congressional investigation conducted by a Republican-led committee.”

Toomey pointed to Attorney General William Barr’s comments saying prosecuting Stone was “righteous” and his prison sentence was “fair.”

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said in announcing the commutation that Stone was “a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years.” She said the charges were “process-based” and “were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice.”

Lindsey Graham, the Republican Senate Judiciary chairman, said he supported Stone’s commutation because “this was a nonviolent, first-time offense.”