Trump snatches Roger Stone from the jaws of prison

Commutes GOP dirty trickster’s sentence

President Trump handed his political ally Roger Stone a commutation on Friday, July 10, 2020, just 4 days before Stone was to begin serving a 40-month federal prison sentence for obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress.

These are charges federal prosecutors often use to send mobsters to prison, and are considered very serious.

Commuting Stone’s sentence means he won’t go to prison, but still leaves him as a convicted felon, which means if he pulls a gun on a driver for turning around in his driveway like this guy did, he could be prosecuted for being a felon in possession of a firearm under state laws, and then Trump couldn’t pardon him.

But Trump could pardon Stone later, wiping the conviction off his record.

Stone began his dirty tricks career in service to Richard Nixon, has had his fingers in many mud pies since then, at one time was a lobbying partner of imprisoned Trump henchman Paul Manafort, and was indicted by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller in the course of the latter’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. You can read the nauseating details of Stone’s sordid career here.

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  1. Mark Adams #

    Commutations and pardons are one of the Presidents powers. He has them and can use them. If anything most modern Presidents use the power little, far less than they should. Pardons and commutations have always been if not directly political, but definitely it helps to know the President or have a friend or attorney who knows the President. And yes Presidents tend to save the more controversial pardons until the second term or the last few weeks in office.
    As it is Stone has an appeal. I don’t think the commutation makes the appeal mute, but it may. Stone was not convicted on anything and all the convictions are for process crimes. And any Federal crime can be called serious though it has been stated that the average American violates three or more Federal statutes every day, due to the number of statutes and regulations, and how broadly some are written.
    It is not terrible likely Stone is going to rob a bank, or pull and shoot someone, or any other violent crime. He is not a pirate or a mobster no matter how his enemies may want us to view him. To some he is a hero. Not mine, but I grok him. He was at best a bit player swept up in the whole Russia gate stuff and Muller investigation. Of course those 40 Russian hackers are totally off the hook, though they probably should not plan any vacations to the United States.
    Also considering who is getting out of prison or jail these days for Corvid it does strike as odd that those wanting to defund the police, empty jails or prisons of older prisoners whether they are violent or non violent, and generally emptying prisons of non violent prisoners due to Corvid. A little consistency please. Many of those prisoners being released or folks are talking about releasing are no better the Roger Stone and many are far worse, and if in federal or state prison they are all convicted felons.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    Infection control and interfering with justice are two different things, and aren’t comparable, so there’s no inconsistency in that respect. If Stone had reported to prison, then been sent home because of Covid, no one would have objected. Trump isn’t the first president to use this power to help a political crony, and won’t be the last; what makes Stone’s crimes different is they involve stealing elections, not money; indeed, that was his career. Inconsistency is when one side criticizes the other side, then does it, too. This makes Republican criticism of Clinton’s pardons look hypocritical (although it’s still hard to justify some of those pardons).

  3. Roger Rabbit #

    It’s unlikely Trump did it out of friendship or sympathy for Stone. Trump cares only about himself, and perhaps immediate family. He’s shown no loyalty toward those who have faithfully served him. In all likelihood, he did this to procure Stone’s silence. Stone had vocally threatened to “turn on” Trump if he didn’t get clemency. And while Trump is unlikely to be impeached again, he may have committed crimes for which he could be prosecuted once he leaves office; at the very least, he has a massive ego to protect.

  4. Mark Adams #

    The Democratic and Republican parties and even the Green party, US Communist party all have hired a group of individuals who do the political dirty tricks Stone has done, and may yet do again if he wins his appeal, and the case is sent back to the trial court, and the Justice department declines to proceed. There is nothing in the charges against Stone that are about his dirty tricks to steal an election. He has been successful enough in that so Sharpton hired him perhaps only to guard the chicken house. Much of what you are saying here is he’s the other sides dirty guy and should have the book thrown at him, particularly if it makes political hay.
    Now Speaker Pelosi is going to try to do something that is unconstitutional ie pass a bill in the House that will go no where in the Senate to curb the Presidents pardon power. Something she would never do with a Democrat in the White House, and something that if she is serious would require a constitution amendment. If Democrats were consistent they would at the State level do the same thing and pass legislation limiting Governors pardon power. Do you agree with Pelosi and are willing to support removing Governor Ensley pardon power? I think not, but perhaps your opinion is otherwise if so please speak up.
    They got Stone on process crimes, things of little substance, but things generally a jury is going to have to come down and say yeah he did it, but it is all totally silly. While lying to Congress is bad, perhaps there is a first amendment right to lie to Congress, it certainly happens, and will happen, and some folks will get away with it, and sometimes someone will get prosecuted, and we will all cheer or jeer at the political circus tent. I would prefer that if Stone does an appeal he or anyone is free during the appeal, although appeals are expensive propositions, so now that he has a commutation he may not take full advantage of the appeal, but this is political theatre so he may get some additional resources and he has wealthy friends, and other political tricksters who in their own interest may throw some sheckles and legal help his way.
    And as for him being gone after as the FBI goes after mobsters I do think Prohibition corrupted law enforcement and the political process. Sure Al Capone was a bad guy, but then and now what the government finally got him on is a joke. Tax fraud?!? If only he had paid his taxes on his ill gotten gains, if he had only known he might have actually paid the income tax or a chunk of it to look good. Better accountant to hide the rest. Going after the mob required getting underlings to turn, and so many Federal prosecutions that is the goal of the FBI and prosecutors. Whether or not Mr or Mrs Big actually did the crime you go after the underlings and turn minor stuff into big league stuff, if they turn the get a golden ticket, or they are faithful and spend time in the big house. Or there was really nothing there and the underlings just got swept up in the heat of the moment. Then there is the RICO act where the intent was it would only be used against mobsters if Federal Prosecutors were given its powers, and that was true once upon a time, but now RICCO is used whenever the FBI and Federal Prosecutors find it convenient, or where they do not have a case, but can build one with RICCO. Just never mind no real racketeering was going on.
    So do you thing Stone is going to be a dirty trickster in 2020 or is he going to sit this election out?

  5. Roger Rabbit #

    I disagree that Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of dirty tricks. That’s mostly a Republican phenomenon, at least in modern times, along with vote suppression. Legal scholars debate, but ultimately the courts would have to decide, the constitutionality of what Pelosi is talking about, i.e. legislative curbs on presidential pardon power. It might require a constitutional amendment, and that won’t happen. I can’t speak for Stone and don’t know what he’ll do next. You may think his crimes were trivial, but the 40-month sentence says they’re not, and they were serious enough to cause Robert Mueller to write an op-ed against the commutation.