Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

7 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:33 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Nancy Pelosi calls Trump's decision on Stone "ridiculous"

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on July 9, in Washington, DC.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on July 9, in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decried President Trump's decision Friday to commute the sentence of his longtime friend Roger Stone.

"I think it's a terrible idea. Just look at this administration, the President and his henchmen. So many of his friends, advisers, campaign chairman, et cetera, are in jail. And for the President to be able to issue a pardon on the basis of a crime that the person committed assisting the President, is ridiculous," Pelosi told CNN.

Pelosi called Trump's decision "appalling."

More context: Stone was found guilty in November of lying to and obstructing Congress.

Stone had covered up records that would have revealed he sought to reach WikiLeaks in 2016 to help Trump. The 67-year-old also lied about the effort when he testified to a Republican-led congressional committee and then threatened another congressional witness, according to the charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller and the DC US Attorney's Office.

Watch:

9:01 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Biden campaign says Trump "abused his power" in commuting Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court on February 20, in Washington, DC.
Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court on February 20, in Washington, DC. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The presidential campaign for former Vice President Joe Biden called President Trump's decision to commute Roger Stone's prison sentence another example of him abusing "his power."

“President Trump has once again abused his power, releasing this commutation on a Friday night, hoping to yet again avoid scrutiny as he lays waste to the norms and the values that make our country a shining beacon to the rest of the world," campaign spokesperson Bill Russo said in a statement. "He will not be shamed. He will only be stopped when Americans make their voice heard at the ballot box this fall. Enough.”

Some context: Stone, one of Trump's former political advisers, was scheduled to report to a federal prison camp in Georgia on Tuesday.

Stone had pleaded for help from the President in recent weeks, calling his surrender a death sentence because of coronavirus inside the federal prison system.

8:46 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Here's what Democratic and GOP lawmakers are saying about the clemency granted to Roger Stone

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 30, in Washington, DC.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 30, in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Two lawmakers on either end of the political spectrum are among the first to weigh-in on the news that Roger Stone, a former political adviser, has had his prison sentence commuted by President Trump this evening.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California and the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called Trump's decision to commute Stone's sentence "the most offensive to the rule of law and principles of justice."

Schiff, who was a Democratic fixture during Trump's impeachment proceedings, said Trump "has engaged in countless acts that are both self-serving and destructive to our democracy while in office, but commuting the sentence of Roger Stone, a crony who lied and obstructed our investigation to protect Trump himself," according to a statement released Friday afternoon, shortly after the President's decision.

“Stone repeatedly lied to the House Intelligence Committee under oath and threatened a witness, all to cover up an effort by President Trump and his campaign to secretly communicate with Wikileaks and exploit its release of Russian-hacked emails targeting his opponent. Stone knew that telling the truth about his interactions with senior campaign officials and Trump himself would expose the president’s eagerness to obtain foreign help. So he lied," Schiff said.

Stone, 67, was supposed to report to a federal prison camp in Georgia on Tuesday. He had pleaded for help from the President in over the past few weeks, calling his surrender a death sentence because of coronavirus inside the federal prison system.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican who fought on behalf of Trump during his impeachment, supported the President's decision.

"Like every president, President Trump has the constitutional right to commute sentences where he believes it serves the interests of fairness and justice," he tweeted.

8:34 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Roger Stone's attorney praises Trump's decision, calling it an "act of mercy"

From CNN's Sara Murray

Attorney Grant Smith, left and Roger Stone arrive at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House May 30, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Attorney Grant Smith, left and Roger Stone arrive at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House May 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/FILE

Roger Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, applauded President Trump for “this act of mercy.”

“Mr. Stone is incredibly honored that President Trump used his awesome and unique power under the Constitution of the United States for this act of mercy. Mr. and Mrs. Stone appreciate all the consideration the President gave to this matter,” Smith said.

Trump on Friday commuted Stone's prison sentence. Stone, 67, was scheduled to report to a federal prison camp in Georgia on Tuesday. He had pleaded for help from the President in recent weeks, calling his surrender a death sentence because of coronavirus inside the federal prison system.

He was sentenced to serve 40 months in prison in February.

8:12 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

White House confirms that clemency has been granted to Roger Stone

The White House has confirmed that President Trump has commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, his friend and former political adviser, according to a statement.

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," the White House said in its statement.

The White House claims the charges against Stone "were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice."

Some context: Stone was indicted in January 2019 when armed FBI agents arrested him at his Florida home.

The 67-year-old had covered up records that would have revealed he sought to reach WikiLeaks in 2016 to help Trump, lied about the effort when he testified to a Republican-led congressional committee, then threatened another congressional witness, according to the charges brought by Special counsel Robert Mueller and the DC US Attorney's Office.

8:31 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

What you need to know about the Roger Stone case

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Katelyn Polantz and Sara Murray

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump has commuted the sentence for his friend and former political adviser, Roger Stone.

Stone was convicted last year as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The Justice Department prosecutors explained in court Stone had lied to protect Trump. Trump's knowledge of Stone's efforts to get leaked Democratic documents in 2016 was a major question in the Mueller investigation, that Democrats on Capitol Hill still want to investigate.  

Here's what you need to know about the case:

  • The arrest: Stone, 67, was indicted in January 2019 when armed FBI agents arrested him at his Florida home.
  • The charges: Stone had covered up records that would have revealed he sought to reach WikiLeaks in 2016 to help Trump, lied about the effort when he testified to a Republican-led congressional committee, then threatened another congressional witness, according to the charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller and the DC US Attorney's Office.
  • The trial: Prosecutors argued to a jury that Stone threatened a witness and lied in part to protect the President. The jury agreed, finding Stone guilty of all seven counts he faced.
  • The sentence: Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the DC District Court sentenced him to 40 months in prison in February. He was due to begin that sentence on Tuesday.

8:29 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Trump commutes Roger Stone’s prison sentence

From CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, Katelyn Polantz and Sara Murray

Getty Images
Getty Images

President Trump on Friday commuted the prison sentence of his longtime friend Roger Stone, sparing Stone from setting foot in prison following his conviction for lying to Congress in part to protect Trump during the Russia investigation.

Three sources told CNN that Trump called Stone Friday and the two had a brief conversation. Trump told him he was commuting his sentence and Stone thanked him. The call lasted a few minutes, sources said.

Stone, 67, was scheduled to report to a federal prison camp in Georgia on Tuesday. He had pleaded for help from the President in recent weeks, calling his surrender a death sentence because of coronavirus inside the federal prison system.

Stone is still challenging in an appeals court the fairness of the jury that unanimously found him guilty on seven counts last year. Trump's action on Friday only wipes away Stone's sentence, meaning his felony conviction stands and his appeal may continue on.

Trump’s decision to give clemency to his friend and political adviser is the crescendo of a months-long effort to rewrite the history of the Mueller investigation. This has included selective declassification of intelligence materials, a ramped-up counter-investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, and attempts to drop the case against Michael Flynn.

The President has broad constitutional power to pardon or commute sentences. But Trump is unlike almost any other president in how he's used the power proactively to save political allies.

Watch: