TRUMP COMMUTES PRISON SENTENCE FOR HIS CRONY ROGER STONE
President Donald Trump on Friday commuted the sentence of his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone, sparing him from prison after he was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election, Sarah N. Lynch, Steve Holland and Eric Beech wrote for Reuters on July 11, 2020.
Trump’s decision to commute Stone’s sentence just days before he was due to report to prison marked the Republican president’s most assertive intervention to protect an associate in a criminal case and his latest use of executive clemency to benefit an ally. Democrats condemned Trump’s action as an assault on the rule of law.
“Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the White House said in a statement. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!” The veteran Republican political operative’s friendship with Trump dates back decades. Stone, 67, was scheduled to report by Tuesday to a federal prison in Jesup, Georgia, to begin serving a sentence of three years and four months.
Trump, seeking re-election on Nov. 3, opted to give Stone a commutation, which does not erase a criminal conviction, rather than a full pardon. Grant Smith, a lawyer for Stone, said his client feels “incredibly honored” for “this act of mercy.” He was among several Trump associates charged with crimes in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that documented Russian interference in the 2016 election to boost Trump’s candidacy.