On Friday, Trump commuted longtime confidant Roger Stone’s prison sentence, sparking shock from both Republicans and Democrats. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress in connection with its investigation into Russia’s election interference.
On Saturday, Republican Senator Pat Toomey (PA) called the president’s decision “a mistake.” He said:
‘The president clearly has the legal and constitutional authority to grant clemency for federal crimes. However, this authority should be used judiciously and very rarely by any president.’
‘While I understand the frustration with the badly flawed Russia-collusion investigation, in my view, commuting Roger Stone’s sentence is a mistake.’
He went on to say that Stone was:
‘duly convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing a congressional investigation conducted by a Republican-led committee.’
Toomey also recalled in a July 8 interview that Attorney General William Barr had said he thought Stone’s prosecution was “righteous” and “appropriate.” He called Stone’s sentence “fair.”
‘Any objections to Mr. Stone’s conviction and trial should be resolved through the appeals process.’
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) also strongly criticized Trump’s decision, referring to it as “historic corruption.” Despite his GOP affiliation, Romney has long been critical of the president. He was the only Republican to vote to convict Mr. Trump on impeachment charges during the Senate impeachment trial.
On Saturday morning, the Utah senator tweeted:
‘Unprecedented, historic corruption: An American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.’
Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020