This Friday, President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime political ally Roger Stone, which means that Stone would not spend a day in prison. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promptly condemned Trump for the brazen corruption inherent in the decision, since Stone had originally been charged and convicted over an obstruction of justice scheme that was designed, in part, to shield Trump and his campaign from scrutiny. Now that Stone was found out and held accountable for lying to Congress, threatening a witness, and other crimes, Trump has delivered the political reward of a sentence commutation (although not a pardon, meaning Stone’s guilty verdict remains in force).
‘President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of top campaign advisor Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption…Roger Stone’s seven felony crimes, which include lying to Congress and witness tampering, constitute grave crimes. All who commit these illegal acts should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.’
President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of top campaign advisor Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption. https://t.co/Ljqu2E71zs
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 11, 2020
In light of the corruption inherent in the latest developments in the Stone’s case, Pelosi insisted that legislation “is needed to ensure that no President can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that President from criminal prosecution.” Of course, as long as Republicans remain in the majority in the U.S. Senate, it seems unlikely that Pelosi’s proposed legislation will become law. For now, Democrats have a good chance of reclaiming the Senate in the upcoming November elections. Currently Republican-held seats in Colorado, Montana, Arizona, North Carolina, and Maine are all especially vulnerable.
Meanwhile, this sentence commutation is not the first time that the Trump team has intervened in Stone’s criminal case under political pretenses. When Stone was originally sentenced, political higher-ups overruled the prosecution team and lowered the government’s sentencing recommendation for Stone. One of the prosecutors who’d been on the case, Aaron Zelinsky, told Congress that it was his understanding that the sentencing recommendation had been lowered because of Stone’s relationship to the president.
Check out Twitter’s response to Pelosi below: