2020-07-11 00:11:27 UTC
President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence Roger Stone, his former adviser
and early political mentor, just days before he was set to begin serving prison
time for his conviction on charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that
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!
Trump had criticized Stones prosecution, calling it a miscarriage of justice.
But the pardon, particularly one so close to the 2020 presidential election,
carries substantial electoral risks for Trump.
Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison in February, on charges brought by
Special Counsel Robert Muellers team as they investigated Russian interference
in the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down the sentence after delivering
a rebuke to Stone and Trump himself, asserting that it was essential for the
judiciary to maintain its independence.
Stones conviction was on charges that he lied about the nature of his contacts
with Wikileaks as the House Intelligence Committee conducted an investigation
into Russian influence in the 2016 election. He also was accused of threatening
Randy Credico, a radio host and the intermediary between Stone and Wikileaks.