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July 10, 2020

As was widely expected, Prez Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence just before he was due to report to federal prison

As detailed via this official statement from the White House, this evening "President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr."  Here is more from the statement:

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.... As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’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.  This is why the out-of-control Mueller prosecutors, desperate for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone.  Roger Stone is well known for his nearly 50 years of work as a consultant for high-profile Republican politicians, including President Ronald Reagan, Senator Bob Dole, and many others. He is also well known for his outspoken support for President Donald J. Trump and opposition to Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Stone was charged by the same prosecutors from the Mueller Investigation tasked with finding evidence of collusion with Russia.  Because no such evidence exists, however, they could not charge him for any collusion-related crime. Instead, they charged him for his conduct during their investigation. The simple fact is that if the Special Counsel had not been pursuing an absolutely baseless investigation, Mr. Stone would not be facing time in prison.

In addition to charging Mr. Stone with alleged crimes arising solely from their own improper investigation, the Mueller prosecutors also took pains to make a public and shameful spectacle of his arrest....

Not only was Mr. Stone charged by overzealous prosecutors pursing a case that never should have existed, and arrested in an operation that never should have been approved, but there were also serious questions about the jury in the case.  The forewoman of his jury, for example, concealed the fact that she is a member of the so-called liberal “resistance” to the Trump Presidency.  In now-deleted tweets, this activist-juror vividly and openly attacked President Trump and his supporters.

Mr. Stone would be put at serious medical risk in prison.  He has appealed his conviction and is seeking a new trial. He maintains his innocence and has stated that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice system.  Mr. Stone, like every American, deserves a fair trial and every opportunity to vindicate himself before the courts.  The President does not wish to interfere with his efforts to do so.  At this time, however, and particularly in light of the egregious facts and circumstances surrounding his unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial, the President has determined to commute his sentence. 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!

I am disinclined to comment at length on this use of the clemency power or this very Trumpian statement explaining it.  But I must note that, because Prez Trump only commuted the sentence and did not pardon the Stone's felony convictions, it is not really accurate to say "Roger Stone is now a free man!"  There are thousands of laws that restrict the rights and opportunities of persons with a felony conviction and so Stone is, for example, not free to possess a firearm.

Prior related posts:

July 10, 2020 at 08:37 PM | Permalink


Stone expects to get all his rights back when the conviction is overturned on appeal which it will be. We can only hope that Berman is removed and disbarred as well. She richly deserves that. I would add 5 years in prison but that's just me.

Posted by: restless94110 | Jul 10, 2020 10:38:52 PM

Interested citizen. When Stone’s conviction is upheld, can he be resentenced?

Posted by: bkswrites | Jul 10, 2020 11:12:36 PM

restless94110: why do you think Judge Amy Berman Jackson should be removed and in prison? No one has contested the fundamental legality of the multiple felony charges that federal prosecutors brought against Stone, and I believe Stone's only claim of misconduct at his trial relates to the alleged bias of one of the jurors who voted to convict him of those charges. You might think Judge Amy Berman Jackson should have granted Stone's request for a new trial, but how would her decision not to grant a new trial justify her removal and imprisonment?

bkswrites: Stone's sentence has been commuted, and existing precedents suggest he cannot and will not be resentenced even if his convictions are affirmed by the DC Circuit. Just as Joe Arpio's pardon was legally contested, I suspect some folks will seek to legally contest this Stone commutation. But I predict it will be upheld in the courts. (Of course, if Stone were to now go commit a new crime, he would still be potentially subject to a new prosecution and sentencing.)

Posted by: Doug B. | Jul 11, 2020 10:28:47 AM

restless94110, what are you smoking?

Posted by: anon1 | Jul 11, 2020 4:54:53 PM

"An American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president," Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, tweeted Saturday morning, describing the move as "unprecedented, historic corruption."

Posted by: Amy from Texas | Jul 11, 2020 4:57:57 PM

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