Roger Stone was a campaign adviser to Donald Trump during his 2016 election campaign. Because he lied about his activities in the campaign, Stone was convicted of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and making false statements.
Prior to sentencing, Attorney General William Barr intervened to reduce the length of Stone’s sentence to a modest 40 months. Now, the President has intervened once again to commute Stone’s entire prison sentence.
Two Republican leaders condemned Trump’s decision. One was Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a leading conservative critic of the President, slammed him calling what he did, “Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”
The other was Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). He used softer language when he stated, “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…”
Most Republicans didn’t object to Trump’s decision. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) supported the commutation partly because “this was a nonviolent, first-time offense” for Stone.
On Friday, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, referred to Stone as a victim. She denounced the charges against Stone saying they “were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice.”
Then there are the words of the investigator. Robert Mueller denounced efforts to downplay Stone’s crimes. “When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable,” Mueller said of Stone’s false statements to Congress. “It may ultimately impede those efforts.”