Trump gives friend Stone clemency to keep him out of prison

This is not a surprise, but the President of the United States granting clemency to a friend Roger Stone just before he was due too start a prison sentence is very controversial. Trump is in effect overruling a jury decision and a court sentence, as well as condoning witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

As with many things Trump sees the prosecution of Stone as an attack on himself.

Fox News: Trump commutes Roger Stone’s sentence, days before prison term set to begin

Roger Stone told Fox News he is ‘praying’ for Trump to intervene ahead of his prison sentence.

Stone was set to report to prison on July 14 to serve 40 months. He was sentenced in February to more than three years in prison after being convicted in November 2019 on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

The White House announced Friday that President Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the “unjust sentence” of Roger Stone, just days before the longtime political operative was slated to report to prison to serve more than three years for charges stemming from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

In a lengthy statement released late Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president had made the decision to commute Stone’s sentence “in light of the egregious facts and circumstances surrounding his unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial.”

“Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency,” McEnany said in a statement Friday night. “There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia.  Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election.  The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist.”

McEnany added that Mueller’s office “resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface.”

“These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice,” she said.

McEnany touted Stone’s career in politics, noting that he worked for nearly 50 years as a consultant for high-profile Republican politicians, including former President Ronald Reagan, Sen. Bob Dole and others, while noting that Stone is also known for “his outspoken support for President Donald J. Trump and opposition to Hillary Clinton.”

McEnany went on to blast Mueller’s prosecutors for the fashion in which they arrested Stone, noting he is a “67 year old man with numerous medical conditions, who had never been convicted of another crime, and that they used “dozens of FBI agents with automatic weapons and tactical equipment, armored vehicles, and an amphibious unit to execute a pre-dawn raid of his home, where he was with his wife of many years.”

In a statement to Fox News, Stone’s attorney Grant Smith said: “Mr. Stone is incredibly honored that President Trump used his awesome and unique power under the Constitution of the United States for this act of mercy.”

Fox News:  Biden campaign: Trump abused authority by commuting Roger Stone’s sentence

“President Trump has once again abused his power, releasing this commutation on a Friday night, hoping to yet again avoid scrutiny as he lays waste to the norms and the values that make our country a shining beacon to the rest of the world,” Biden spokesman Bill Russo said.

Earlier Friday, an appeals court denied Stone’s request to delay reporting for his sentence, saying he must report for prison on Tuesday.

“In sum, Stone is not legally eligible for further postponement of his reporting date under 18 U.S.C. § 3145(c), which is the only basis on which he seeks relief from this court. We therefore deny his motion,” the court wrote in its order.

The president’s commutation, though, nullifies that order.

Trump, for weeks, has signaled he could be open to granting Stone clemency — tweeting last month that Stone was “a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”

This will no doubt be both strongly praised and strongly condemned.

I think the US political and judicial systems are hopelessly intertwined, and this granting of clemency by the President is a farce.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Tom Hunter

     /  11th July 2020

    Meh. He’s still convicted of the crime. Every President does pardons and commutations and gets criticised by the opposition but nobody has ever seriously threatened to remove those Presidential powers.

    Convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg is vice chair of Thousand Currents, a California-based charity that handles fundraising for Black Lives Matter. Rosenberg is a veteran of the May 19 Communist Organization that carried out a bombings in the early 1980s to counter President Reagan’s “Morning in America” campaign. Rosenberg landed on the FBI most wanted list and was arrested with stolen explosives in 1984.

    The terrorist drew 58 years but served only 16 because in 2001 President Bill Clinton commuted Rosenberg’s sentence. Since 2016, Rosenberg has been involved with Black Lives Matter

    Vastly more serious crimes than lying to a Congressional investigating committee and threatening a witness that he’d kill his dog, something the witness himself laughed off as stupid, having known Stone and his OTT bullshit for years.

    Yet I don’t recall any on the Left anywhere in the world raising any complaints about that commutation.

    But sure. I get it. You loath Trump, so who cares about consistency.

    Reply
    • I don’t loath him. I think he’s a fool, and I think people who support him are being fooled by a fool.

      I’ve been quite consistent pointing out Trump’s faults, which has consistently attracted foolish responses.

      “Every President does pardons and commutations’

      Has any other president granted clemency to a friend and associate who was convicted for lying trying to protect the president from legal scrutiny?

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  11th July 2020

        “Has any other president granted clemency to a friend and associate who was convicted for lying trying to protect the president from legal scrutiny?”

        Quite a specific thing don’t you think. Bill Clinton pardoned his brother. Not to mention Susan Rosenberg, who has now popped up as a top member of BLM.

        Obama pardoned Gen James Cartwright from charges of lying to the FBI.

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  11th July 2020

      Yes, you get ‘it’. The unfortunate thing is you get the wrong thing. Have all the feelings you want or observe about loving or loathing Trump but those are incidental.

      The nuances and niceties of the rule of law are the important things. What you have as not serious are indications that the law and the foundations of a justice system in a civilised world don’t matter.

      “THERE ARE no doubt thousands of people in federal prison who deserved a presidential commutation more than Roger Stone. But after President Trump’s intervention on Friday, Mr. Stone will serve none of his prison sentence. The president may have had the power to help his longtime friend. But that does not make it any less a perversion of justice — indeed, it is one of the most nauseating instances of corrupt government favoritism the United States has ever seen.
      There is no doubt about Mr. Stone’s guilt. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he tried to play intermediary between WikiLeaks, which had become a front for the Kremlin, and the Trump campaign, which reaped the benefits of WikiLeaks’s publication of stolen Democratic emails. A jury concluded that Mr. Stone obstructed Congress, lied to investigators and tampered with a witness in the investigations that followed the 2016 race — “covering up for the president,” as the judge in his case noted.”

      If lying under oath and tampering with witnesses are to be not seen as serious our justice and that in other jurisdictions system is stuffed. Do want you want, if you know The Man it’s fine.

      “The United States is supposed to be a place in which laws apply equally to all. And while it never has — and never will — live up to that ideal in full, no modern president before Mr. Trump has so clearly renounced it. The president seems to be doing his best, within the confines of the U.S. constitutional system, to emulate the gangster leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man whose ruinous reign Mr. Trump has always admired. If the country needed any more evidence, Friday confirmed that the greatest threat to the Republic is the president himself.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-commutation-of-roger-stones-sentence-is-an-unforgivable-betrayal-of-his-office/2020/07/10/f5cac3a4-c309-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html

      Reply
  2. duperez

     /  11th July 2020

    The decision is “very controversial”?

    It’s just business as usual. No surprise, move on. To what is next.

    Which will be “very controversial,” business as usual, no surprise, and it’ll be move on again.

    Reply
  3. Reply
  4. artcroft

     /  11th July 2020

    As well as this Trump stated he will sign an executive order creating a pathway to citizenship for children born in the US to illegal immigrants.

    Will the GOP support him on one of these actions and if which one? My guess is they look the other way about Stone and froth at the mouth of the induction of the immigrants.

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  11th July 2020

      True to form, Ted Cruz has immediately criticised Trump over immigration and said nothing about the pardon. Disgusting.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  11th July 2020

      “As well as this Trump stated he will sign an executive order creating a pathway to citizenship for children born in the US to illegal immigrants.”

      He cannot actually do this.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  11th July 2020

        Cannot sign an order or cannot state he will sign an executive order? He’s stated a lot of things he was going to do or have achieved by some sort of order. He’s said he’s going to have states do this and that when he actually had no power to see those things done.

        He makes also makes threats when the reality of not having the power strikes home.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  11th July 2020

          “Cannot sign an order or cannot state he will sign an executive order?”

          He can do those two things.

          “creating a pathway to citizenship for children born in the US to illegal immigrants”

          This he cannot do. He needs the house and senate to sign that into law.

          “He makes also makes threats when the reality of not having the power strikes home.”

          That has been the case for all Presidents. A President does not have much power in domestic matters Very little in fact.. ‘The Bully Pulpit’ was coined by Roosevelt a hundred years ago. The President’s primary tool is exactly that.

          Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th July 2020

    Law is political. Pretending otherwise is obtuse.

    Reply
  6. “I think the prosecution [of Roger Stone] was righteous and I think the sentence that the judge ultimately gave was fair.”
    — Attorney General Bill Barr, July 8, 2020

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  12th July 2020

      Everyone can have an opinion. That is the beauty of politics and law. The trick is to get enough important people to agree with you.

      Reply

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