Long post ahead, so grab a cuppa!
On Friday, July 10, 2020, President Trump granted Roger Stone, his one-time campaign associate, clemency.
This means that Stone’s prison sentence, which he was due to start imminently, has been commuted.
Stone agreed with Trump that a commutation — clemency — is better than a pardon.
A pardon would have meant that Stone was guilty. A commutation means that Stone can go on to fight to clear his name.
Of course, American media will try to have a field day with this, but Stone explained what happened to his friend John Cardillo, a man of many podcasts and former NYPD officer (audio here). Cardillo says:
Mueller’s team demanded he lie and claim Trump did wrong. Roger refused.
Cardillo was among those invited to a Stone family flat party to celebrate. So was the much-maligned Laura Loomer who spent weeks trying to get to the bottom of the still-unresolved Las Vegas massacre of October 1, 2017. Loomer, a candidate for US Congress in Florida, arrived at Stone’s home wearing her campaign tee shirt.
Stone thanked everyone who supported him, among them tens of thousands of Americans he’s never met.
Rudy Giuliani agreed that Trump’s commutation was the right thing to do for Stone, a veteran of presidential campaigns dating all the way back to 1964, starting with Barry Goldwater. He was only 11 years old at the time.
Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump and Roger Stone.
Ignore the Corrupt Media, this achieved justice.
The penalty was horrendous in comparison to the proven acts.
As more than one person has said, Stone ‘knows where the bodies are buried’. I hope that he is able to appear at some of Trump’s rallies this summer, because as lawyer Will Chamberlain said of the president’s leftist enemies:
It was necessary for Trump to pardon Roger Stone because these people needed to have their hopes and dreams crushed
Stone told journalist Jack Posobiec that:
he is going to continue to fight his case in the appeals court, and also do whatever he can to support the full exoneration of General Flynn.
Nancy Pelosi was less than pleased, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper (Gloria Vanderbilt’s son who once worked for the CIA on his summer break):
Well, Trump didn’t give Stone a pardon. He commuted his sentence.
Jack Posobiec contrasts Trump’s commutations and pardons with Obama’s many questionable actions, among them this one:
Trump commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, convicted of lying to Adam Schiff
Obama freed 5 Taliban generals from Guantanamo, including Mullah Fazil who committed ethnic cleansing of hundreds of Hazara in northern Afghanistan
If we look at the number of clemencies that Trump and Obama granted, we find these astounding totals:
Total clemency petitions granted:
Alex Jones and his son Rex put together information from anonymous sources in the White House regarding Stone’s commutation. Apparently, AG William Barr disagreed with Trump’s decision. You can find the article and video here. Excerpts follow.
Jones explained that all sources he spoke to suggested that “Bill Barr over all probably is a good guy, but that he thought it was, quote, ‘a righteous prosecution of Stone.’”
This break between the president and attorney general, according to Jones, led the president to tell Barr “‘Sorry, you’ve broken your sword on this,’ This is a quote.”
Relaying a summary of the president’s conversation with Barr, Jones added that President Trump said “This isn’t political, this isn’t right wing, left wing, this is the right thing to do, he was persecuted, this is part of a fake witch hunt, this is part of a coup, and I’m not going to go along with this coup. I’m not going to put up with the bullying of the Justice Department anymore, or these corrupt federal judges. This is going to happen.”
Stone has been left financially destitute. He sold his Fort Lauderdale house a couple of years ago in order to finance his legal costs. Stone and his wife now live in a flat in the city. More from the InfoWars article:
The talk radio legend continued to describe the financial ruin Stone now faces after over three years of fighting to prove his innocence, explaining that he sold his home and his vehicle to finance his $3.5 million legal defense, and that he now lives in a “cozy” two bedroom apartment.
During his trial, Stone was originally issued a gag order preventing him from discussing his case publicly under threat of jail, and eventually was forced to cease all interviews and speaking opportunities, his primary source of income, due to additional gag orders.
Stone was a regular co-host with InfoWars’ Owen Shroyer. Their show was excellent. Shroyer, it seemed, felt a great loss once he lost his avuncular partner.
Returning to the White House, just before his departure on July 10 for a trip to Florida to check on the damage from tropical storm Fay, Trump told the press:
I think Roger Stone was very unfairly treated, as were many people. And in the meantime, Comey and all these guys who are walking around, including Biden and Obama — because we caught them spying on my campaign. Who would have believed that one?
When the commutation came through, Stone’s attorney told CBS News:
Mr. Stone is incredibly honored that President Trump used his awesome + unique power under the Constitution of the United States for this act of mercy…
Mr. and Mrs. Stone appreciate all the consideration the President gave to this matter.
Fox News’s Tucker Carlson has an excellent one-minute recap of the injustice shown to Roger Stone:
nakedly political … a late middle aged man who posed no threat to law enforcement … without a gun …
Veteran journalist John Solomon reported that Stone, 67, had been sentenced to 40 months in prison:
after being found guilty on five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstructing a congressional committee proceeding, all related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s federal probe into whether the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the election.
The courts had delays the start date for Stone’s prisoner term over health issues.
Solomon included Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s statement to the media, which says, in part:
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. 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!
The day before, Trump told his friend, radio talk show host Howie Carr, that he had been mulling over his decision:
‘He was framed. He was treated horrible. He was treated so badly,’ the president said. ‘If you say he’s praying, his prayer may be answered. Let’s see what happens.’
McEnany’s full statement on Friday was characteristically hard-hitting (emphases mine):
Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr.
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.
In addition to charging Mr. Stone with alleged crimes arising solely from their own improper investigation, the Mueller prosecutors also took pains to make a public and shameful spectacle of his arrest. Mr. Stone is a 67-year-old man, with numerous medical conditions, who had never been convicted of another crime. But rather than allow him to surrender himself, they used dozens of FBI agents with automatic weapons and tactical equipment, armored vehicles, and an amphibious unit to execute a pre-dawn raid of his home, where he was with his wife of many years. Notably, CNN cameras were present to broadcast these events live to the world, even though they swore they were not notified—it was just a coincidence that they were there together with the FBI early in the morning.
Not only was Mr. Stone charged by overzealous prosecutors pursing a case that never should have existed, and arrested in an operation that never should have been approved, but there were also serious questions about the jury in the case. The forewoman of his jury, for example, concealed the fact that she is a member of the so-called liberal “resistance” to the Trump Presidency. In now-deleted tweets, this activist-juror vividly and openly attacked President Trump and his supporters.
Mr. Stone would be put at serious medical risk in prison. He has appealed his conviction and is seeking a new trial. He maintains his innocence and has stated that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice system.
No one had expected this outcome. Only days before, things looked dire, although Stone had a glimmer of hope.
On July 2, Stone was allowed to give an interview to Newsmax. Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, interviewed him. Stone said:
“I believe the President will do the right thing,” Roger Stone tells @seanspicer
Just days before reporting for prison, Stone comments on the ‘flimsy and phony’ charges, and his chances at a pardon: “I’ve had ‘special’ treatment’ every step of the way, & none of it beneficial.”
He also told Spicer about his rediscovery of his Christian faith, thanks to Revd Franklin Graham, Billy’s son. (Stone was raised a Catholic.)
On Friday, July 3, Stone’s wife Nydia sent an impassioned letter to President Trump. Gateway Pundit has the full text. Nydia Stone recapped what happened. Excerpts follow.
She began by reminding Trump of his friendship with the Stones:
It was 28-years-ago this past December that you came to our wedding when Roger and I got married at the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C..
After my husband and my father-in-law, you were the next man to dance with the bride. I remember how kind you were to my family on that special day.
She mentioned Rod Rosenstein’s underhanded involvement in her husband’s case:
We now know that the investigation of my husband was not approved by acting-Attorney General Rod Rosenstein until October of 2017 – almost three months after Special Counsel Robert Mueller knew there was no collusion between the Russian State and the Trump Campaign.
As for Mueller’s team:
Mueller and his investigators subjected us to the most invasive investigation imaginable; poking into Roger’s business, our family life, our personal lives, and all of his political activities. No evidence of the crimes they continually alleged he would be charged with was found. Instead, Andrew Weissman fabricated “Lying to Congress” charges even though the misstatements that Roger made in his voluntary appearance before the House Intelligence Committee were entirely immaterial and with no underlying crime. In other words, Roger had neither motive nor intent to lie. The witness tampering charge was thrown in to make it all the more ominous, but as you have pointed out; the person Roger allegedly threatened testified in court and in a letter to the judge that he never felt threatened at all.
At the trial:
Mueller and his lieutenants used legal trickery to ensure that Roger’s case would be heard by Obama-appointed Judge, Amy Berman Jackson. Long before the trial began, Judge Jackson systematically ruled out every line of powerful defense …
Judge Jackson also ruled that party affiliation and stated antagonism toward you and your Administration was not a legitimate grounds to eliminate a juror. Ultimately Roger’s case was tried before a jury completely comprised of Democrats, including a number of former political appointees from both the Obama and Clinton administration- as well as people with direct ties to the Justice Department under Barack Obama, the FBI, and even the prosecutors themselves.
… Ultimately, Judge Jackson deprived Roger of his First Amendment Free Speech Right to defend himself, claiming ridiculously; that his speaking in his own defense and criticizing the political motives of the prosecution would somehow “taint the jury pool.”
Steve Bannon did not help one bit:
I sat in the front row every day of the five-day trial and watched incredulously as the government’s witnesses perjured themselves one by one on the witness stand. Most shocking was the testimony of Steve Bannon, who’s false testimony helped seal the guilty verdict against my husband. We now know that Bannon’s testimony under oath at Roger’s trial was completely and specifically contradicted by his sworn testimony before the House Intelligence Committee …
As you know, Roger was wrongly convicted on all seven counts- and it was only after the trial that we learned that the jury forewoman, a lawyer from Tennessee who had run for Congress, had posted anti-Stone and anti-Trump social media postings on both Twitter and Facebook in 2019. This juror had her social media platforms on a private setting during jury selection and Roger’s trial and deleted this history when the trial was over. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that every defendant is entitled to a “impartial and indifferent jury” – we were stunned when judge Jackson ruled that none of the jury four women’s actions proved bias, and Roger was denied a new trial.
Here’s where thousands of Americans whom Roger Stone has never met come into play. They are financing his legal costs:
We have lost our home, our car, our savings, most of our insurance, and most importantly; Roger’s ability to make a living writing and speaking. It is only through the generosity of over 65,000 great Americans that we have been able to finance our ongoing legal fight to vindicate Roger and ensure his freedom. Roger has filed an appeal of both his conviction and his judge’s flawed decision not to declare a mistrial and a new trial.
This was Mrs Stone’s plea:
Mr. President: I am asking you as an act of both justice and mercy to use your extraordinary power to grant clemency to my husband Roger Stone, either in the form of a Presidential Pardon or the commutation of his sentence which would allow him to appeal and clear his name.
She also mentioned Stone’s rediscovery of his faith.
Shortly afterwards, another plea — her short but highly moving video to the president — was posted on Twitter.
On Tuesday, July 7, Stone filed an emergency motion to delay the start of his sentence because of the coronavirus situation. The district judge said he would grant it only until mid-July.
Fortunately, by the end of the week, President Trump once again did the right thing.
I am over the moon for Roger Stone and his family, to say the least.
At long last, Stone can kiss and hug his little grandson once again.