Stone was found guilty last year of seven felonies, including lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign worked with Russia to tip the 2016 election. Stone, a GOP operative and adviser to Trump during the election, was sentenced to more than three years in prison.
Trump stood to benefit from Stone keeping his mouth shut, and Stone said as much Friday to NBC journalist Howard Fineman. “He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him,” Stone told Fineman. “It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”
Following the president’s action, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Trump “has abandoned the rule of law and made a mockery of our democracy,” adding: “He truly is the most corrupt president in history.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). accused the “lawless president” of treating American justice like his “personal plaything.”
New York Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Carolyn Maloney, who heads the Oversight Committee, said in a joint statement that Trump “abused the powers of his office” to reward “an individual that could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct.”
Nadler also accused Trump of infecting the judicial system with “partisanship and cronyism and attacked the rule of law.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Stone 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.”
Stone says he will now seek a new trial. The president has commuted his sentence, but he is still a convicted felon.
Stone isn’t the first criminal friend of Trump’s who’s getting a free pass. Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released early from prison in May to serve the rest of his sentence for tax fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government at home. He was released because of coronavirus fears. He served less than a third of his 7.5-year sentence behind bars.
And Attorney General William Barr is battling in court to drop charges against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, even though Flynn pleaded guilty — twice — to lying to the FBI about his secret negotiations with a Russian diplomat.