Donald Trump Commutes Prison Sentence Of His Buddy Roger Stone

Roger Stone (screen capture)

I guess this is where I write “I told you so.”

CNN reports Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of longtime adviser Roger Stone.

In February, Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison after a jury found him guilty of seven felony charges that included lying to Congress and witness tampering. He was scheduled to report to prison on Tuesday, July 14.

From CNN:

Trump has faced immense pressure from some of his political allies to pardon Stone after he was sentenced to more than three years in prison, in part for lying to Congress about his effort to set up a backchannel between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks during the 2016 election. Stone was also convicted of witness tampering and obstruction related to Congress’ inquiry into Russian meddling.

Stone, 67, was indicted in January 2019 when armed FBI agents arrested him at his Florida home. He had covered up records that would have revealed he sought to reach WikiLeaks in 2016 to help Trump, lied about the effort when he testified to a Republican-led congressional committee, then threatened another congressional witness, according to the charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller and the DC US Attorney’s Office.

Trump and Stone have tried to cast his prosecution and conviction as a politically motivated witch hunt. But prosecutors argued to a jury that Stone threatened a witness and lied in part to protect the President. The jury agreed, finding Stone guilty of all seven counts he faced.

Trump’s act of commuting Stone’s sentence leaves his criminal conviction in place but reduces the punishment by shortening a sentence of incarceration.

The Washington Post notes, “According to Justice Department standards for considering clemency petitions, it does not imply forgiveness of the underlying offense or even reflect on the fairness of the original sentence, and usually the department does not consider requests until a person begins serving his or her sentence.”