Late last week, President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of his longtime ally Roger Stone, who had been scheduled to report to prison on Tuesday after getting found guilty of a slew of crimes relating to an obstruction of justice scheme. That scheme was meant to shield himself, the president, and the Trump campaign from scrutiny, and none of the facts changed prior to Trump commuting Stone’s sentence and sparing him from having to serve a single day of it — but Trump did it anyway. During a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s This Week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) harshly condemned Trump for his disregard for the rule of law.
Asked for his response — since, after all, Stone’s crimes included lying to the House Intelligence Committee, which Schiff now chairs — Schiff commented:
‘I think anyone who cares about the rule of law in this country is nauseated by the fact that the president has commuted the sentence of someone who willfully lied to Congress, covered up for the president, intimidated witnesses, obstructed the investigation — it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, this should be offensive to you if you care about the rule of law and you care about justice. Let’s remember… Roger Stone was the intermediary, he was the link between Donald Trump and the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, the same Russian intelligence unit that hacked Donald Trump’s opponent’s emails.’
The Trump team has claimed that the only reason Stone ever faced charges was because of animosity towards the Trump team on the part of prosecutors. There’s no evidence for that claim. The reason that Stone faced charges is that he committed crimes. Schiff added:
‘The president, through this commutation, is basically saying: if you lie for me, if you cover up for me, if you have my back, then I will make sure that you get a get-out-of-jail free card. Other Americans: different standard. Friends of the president, accomplices of the president: they get off scot-free.’
Watch his comments below:
NEW: Rep. Adam Schiff on Roger Stone: “I think anyone who cares about the rule of law in this country is nauseated by the fact that the president has commuted the sentence of someone who willfully lied to Congress, covered up for the president …” https://t.co/OIBN1nggXM pic.twitter.com/2RbDx7iQqs
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 12, 2020
Condemnation for Stone’s sentence getting commuted has been very rare among Republicans. Utah’s Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who’s already made his opposition to Trump clear, commented:
‘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
Pennsylvania’s Republican Senator Pat Toomey also derided the decision. He commented:
‘While I understand the frustration with the badly flawed Russia-collusion investigation, in my view, commuting Roger Stone’s sentence is a mistake.’
NARRATOR: "No one illegally spied on Trump's campaign. The FBI was alerted by an Australian diplomat that a Trump flunky was bragging about collusion with Russian. Upon further investigation, Roger Stone and his links to Wikileaks, being used by Russia, proves this to be true." https://t.co/U5YRerr3Vq
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) July 12, 2020
Trump took notice of both of their complaints. He responded on Twitter with a laundry list of conspiracies about the supposed nefariousness of the Russia investigation.
‘Do RINO’S Pat Toomey & Mitt Romney have any problem with the fact that we caught Obama, Biden, & Company illegally spying on my campaign? Do they care if Comey, McCabe, Page & her lover, Peter S, the whole group, ran rampant, wild & unchecked – lying & leaking all the way? NO!’
Trump’s assessment of the situation has little to do with reality. There was no plot against him. He and his team intertwined themselves with foreign corruption. There’s a big difference.
Do RINO’S Pat Toomey & Mitt Romney have any problem with the fact that we caught Obama, Biden, & Company illegally spying on my campaign? Do they care if Comey, McCabe, Page & her lover, Peter S, the whole group, ran rampant, wild & unchecked – lying & leaking all the way? NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2020