On Friday, President Donald Trump commuted former campaign advisor Roger Stone’s prison term, saving his long-time strategist from going to jail next week.
A source told NBC News Trump on Friday night that they called Stone to tell him the story. The announcement came soon after Stone ‘s emergency motion was rejected by a federal appeals court to extend his surrender date of July 14.
She also attacked the “out-of-control Mueller prosecutors” who brought the case, the FBI agents who detained Stone and also blamed the jury that convicted Stone in “the case that should never have happened,” as Trump himself did. However, she said, Trump “doesn’t want to mess” with Stone ‘s attempts to get a new trial.
Some Trump’s advisers urged him to refrain from intervening in the case for fear that it might hamper his bid for re-election, NBC News reported earlier Friday. Democratic lawmakers immediately denounced the move as a violation of the rule of law.
Joe Biden Talks on Commutation
Former vice-president Joe Biden, the presumptive presidential Democratic nominee, said the commutation was another sign of Trump behaving as though he were beyond rule.
In February Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison for lying to Congress during the Russian election meddling investigation. The Bureau of Prisons gave him an extra 60 days to surrender until June 30 after the coronavirus pandemic swept the country. He was confined to the home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Last month, in view of COVID-19 infections in hospitals, he asked Federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson for permission to extend his prison reporting date again until late September. She refused the appeal and ordered him to report by July 14 to a federal jail in Jessup, Georgia.
Stone challenged the decision to seek to buy some more time. On the day of Stone’s Feb. 20th sentencing, Trump said in remarks that he had no immediate plans to interfere.
Judge Jackson’s Reaction
Judge Jackson fights back at Stone’s sentencing against allegations by Trump and his allies that his conviction is biase.
Stone’s prosecution had turned into a hot political potato at the Justice Department. The department immediately shortened Stone ‘s proposed prison sentence following a Trump tweet that called the initial 7-9 year recommendation “disgraceful!” The amended proposal for a lighter sentence prompted the four attorneys who prosecuted Stone ‘s case to resign, with one resigning completely from the DOJ.
In June, one of those attorneys, Aaron Zelinsky, told Congress that he withdrew from the case because the Department of Justice unfairly pressed for a lenienter sentence.
Stone is a close friend and advisor to Trump. It has been campaigning for him to run for president for years.
Stone’s criminal trial also showed the seasoned political strategist kept in contact with his nominee. Stone accuses of lying to Congress about his attempts to link with WikiLeaks. Also, trying to dig up dirt on Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. The lead prosecutor in the case said Stone had lied because the “truth looked bad for Donald Trump.”
Stone said he had no records of attempts. It is to reach out to WikiLeaks “of any sort,” despite proof presented at his Washington, D.C. trial. He exchanged hundreds of messages and emails with two men he used as intermediaries to meet the company.
Stone also maintained that he had not addressed his activities with the Trump campaign. Also, all statements debunked by his call records and testimony. It is from former campaign officials Steve Bannon and Rick Gates. The call records also revealed Stone had called Trump hours. It is after the DNC confirmes its networks hacking by Russians in June 2016. Trump told Mueller in written answers to the query. It is in the six months preceding the 2016 election. He did not remember the particulars of any contact with Stone.
Stone also charges with exerting pressure on one of his intermediaries. Radio host Randy Credico, to lie to investigators about Stone’s attempts. It is to reach out to WikiLeaks and its author, Julian Assange. Stone convicts on all seven counts bringing against him.