President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of political operative Roger Stone on Friday just days before the 67-year-old was set to report to prison to serve a 40-month sentence.
Stone was arrested last January in then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and was convicted in federal court last November of making false statements and impeding an investigation by Congress.
The White House released a scathing statement blasting the entire investigation by painting it as a politically motivated hit job:
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. There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia. Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election.
The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist. As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface. These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice.
This is why the out-of-control Mueller prosecutors, desperate for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone. Roger Stone is well known for his nearly 50 years of work as a consultant for high-profile Republican politicians, including President Ronald Reagan, Senator Bob Dole, and many others. He is also well known for his outspoken support for President Donald J. Trump and opposition to Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Stone was charged by the same prosecutors from the Mueller Investigation tasked with finding evidence of collusion with Russia. Because no such evidence exists, however, they could not charge him for any collusion-related crime. Instead, they charged him for his conduct during their investigation. The simple fact is that if the Special Counsel had not been pursuing an absolutely baseless investigation, Mr. Stone would not be facing time in prison.
The statement also documented the much-criticized way in which Stone was taken into custody when the FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid on his home and a CNN camera crew was present during the raid.
The White House said that Stone would have been put at serious medical risk in prison, a likely reference to the coronavirus pandemic, which was not explicitly mentioned in the statement. The statement added that Stone has appealed his conviction and believes that he will be “fully exonerated” in a new trial.
“At this time, however, and particularly in light of the egregious facts and circumstances surrounding his unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial, the President has determined to commute his sentence,” the statement concluded. “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!”