It has long been expected that Donald Trump will pardon his friend, Roger Stone, in his convictions for obstruction, making false statements to Congress, and witness tampering. The deadline for Trump to take action, even though it will hurt him just four months from the 2020 presidential election, is coming fast. Stone is expected to report to prison on July 14, just four days away.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the president who tweets about “LAW & ORDER” and thinks that a person defacing a Confederate memorial should get at least 10 years in prison, decried the unfairness of his friend being sentenced to just over three years in prison for his crimes, a sentence that was greatly reduced after Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr interfered with prosecutors, all of whom quit the case as a result. Prosecutors originally sought up to a nine-year prison sentence after Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, obstructing the Mueller investigation, threatening a witness in his case with death and even threatening to kill the man’s service dog, and attempts to manipulate the jury.
Justice Department says Roger Stone should report to prison Tuesday https://t.co/S9t0pTZH2D
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 9, 2020
Trump bragged to Hannity that Stone’s “prayers” for a pardon “might be answered,” meaning that yet another of Trump’s criminal friends will likely go free on charges that any other American would not. With just four months left until the election, that decision may not bode well for Donald Trump.
Stone, whose friend Trump believes all American children should be forced back into classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, tried to avoid prison by complaining that the virus made it too dangerous for him to serve. The judge in his case allowed him a two-week delay, and that is quickly running out.
According to The Washington Post:
‘Jackson in late June granted Stone a two-week delay in his reporting date but ordered him to surrender July 14. She said in her order that there are no confirmed cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, at the minimum-security facility Stone is assigned to and noted that he had threatened a witness and sought to intimidate jurors, the court and individuals during the investigation.’
According to @realDonaldTrump covid is so bad Manafort must be released from prison to serve his time at home & Roger Stone shouldn't even serve at all, yet our children, their teachers and school staff must face the pandemic dangers regardless. MAGA winning . . .
— John Weaver (@jwgop) July 8, 2020
Stone, asking for the same kind of special treatment sought by Trump’s friends Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, has complained that the virus makes it too dangerous for him to sit in a prison like the millions of other non-violent prisoners who sit in prison today. As a friend of the president, he’ll likely not have to. He’ll need to explain to Trump voters, many of whom are convinced that COVID-19 is nothing but a hoax, why that argument got him out of trouble with the law.
According to NBC News, Stone has said that:
‘I call this the death penalty, that’s what I call it. I have grave concerns that if I went there at my age and condition, I may not live to see my appeal a year from now.’
Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone says he has "grave concerns" about his approaching surrender date and is "optimistic" the president will take action in his case. https://t.co/MTNYeBTCgz
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 10, 2020
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