President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, his friend and former political adviser. Stone told The Associated Press on Friday that Trump called to say he would commute his prison sentence in Russia probe.
In a statement, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr.”
The move comes days before Stone, 67, was to report to a federal prison in Georgia. An appeals court on Friday denied Stone’s request to delay reporting for his sentence for two months, saying he must report for prison in Jesup, Georgia, on Tuesday, The New York Times and Fox News reported.
A jury convicted Stone in November on seven felonies, including lying to federal investigators, tampering with a witness and impeding a congressional inquiry, The New York Times reported. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia sentenced Stone in February to 40 months in prison.
“Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia hoax that the left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump presidency,” McEnany said in the news release.
The release said that Stone would be put “at serious medical risk” if he was sent to prison.”
“He has appealed his conviction and is seeking a new trial,” the release said. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”
Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said Stone was “incredibly honored” that the president used his powers for “this act of mercy.”
Before leaving the White House for Florida on Friday, Trump hinted at commuting Stone’s sentence, The Washington Post reported.
“Well, I’ll be looking at it,” Trump told reporters. “I think Roger Stone was very unfairly untreated, as were many people.”
A presidential pardon completely absolves a person of a crime, while a commutation lessens the punishment or eliminates prison time. A commutation means the conviction remains standing.
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