Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone is one of the many Trump associates who has faced criminal charges over the few years that Donald has been in the national spotlight, and this Saturday, the president indicated that he was considering a pardon for his longtime ally. He retweeted a post from a Trump supporter named Lori Hendry who insisted that it’s “time to pardon Roger Stone.” Trump’s reference to the potential pardon for Stone came shortly after Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Stone to report to prison for his more than three-year-long prison sentence on July 14 and denied his request for a longer time before he has to start the sentence.
Check out the retweet below:
Trump has directly addressed Stone’s criminal case in the past. Earlier this very month, for instance, Trump belligerently posted on Twitter:
‘Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!’
No. Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night! https://t.co/HHg24tcZrx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2020
Stone’s prison sentence is over criminal convictions over behavior including “lying to Congress, tampering with a witness, and trying to obstruct an investigation by the House of Representatives on whether Trump’s presidential campaign coordinated with Russia to affect the results of the 2016 election,” as a Salon report explains. Throughout the Russia investigation, Stone consistently concealed his actual work to coordinate the Trump campaign with Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.
According to federal prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, Stone got special treatment during his sentencing specifically because of his proximity to the president. The top levels of the Justice Department intervened to lower the government’s sentencing recommendation for Stone. Zelinsky said:
‘I was told that the acting U.S. attorney was giving Stone a break because he was afraid of the president of the United States. What I heard repeatedly was that this leniency was happening because of Stone’s relationship to the president, that the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia was receiving heavy pressure from the highest levels of the Department of Justice and that his instructions to us were based on political considerations.’
As The Washington Post explains, Zelinsky cited “J.P. Cooney, the Justice Department’s head of fraud and public corruption, and his former deputy, Alessio Evangelista,” as his supervisors who communicated to him the political nature of the Stone sentencing decision.
Check out Twitter responses below: