Judge Amy Berman Jackson has concerns about how scot free convicted felon Roger Stone is walking.

It does raise the interesting question whether this was clemency by tweet, in an administration of governance by tweet, or whether documents were properly drawn up.

Now read this, because this is going to put a grin on your face.

I have no idea at this juncture whether Stone’s commutation is not legal, and Jackson Berman doesn’t seem to be inferring that. She’s focusing on the parole aspect. But the fact that the paperwork is being challenged at all, on the morning of the next business day, and the fact that DOJ guidelines specify a different scenario under which commutation is granted, may indicate that this isn’t so cut and dried. However, the worst case scenario, and with Trump you always have to consider the worst case scenario first, is that as *president” he can waive the DOJ guidelines and do whatever he wants. Or, maybe he can’t and Bill Barr knew this was coming and that’s why he advised Trump not to do it.

In any event, it’s prudent for Judge Berman Jackson to request the paperwork without revealing the full scope of what she’s investigating — if that’s what’s happening. I hate to waffle like this, but this is a breaking story and everybody is scurrying trying to figure out what’s going on. I don’t want to over blow this, but at the same time I don’t want to minimize the full dimension of what might be taking place. Maybe Roger Stone is just experiencing another delay, but not a reprieve, in his efforts to avoid incarceration.

We shall see. And it being Monday, another set of polls should be out and that should put Trump in a great mood as well. The remaining coffee pots are already trembling and trying to scootch to the back of the cabinet.


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  1. Oh, this is priceless! Drumpf thinks he’s a king, who doesn’t have to follow the rules. I hope the judge sends Stone to jail….

  2. Oh, this priceless! Donnie still thinks he can do whatever he wants. Thank goodness for Judge Amy Berman – I hope she rules that the commutation is void…

  3. Can anyone read?? These are guidelines for convicted persons to APPLY for pardon or commutation. These do not affect the presidents ability to pardon or grant clemency for anyone he wishes in any circumstances at any time

    • They don’t change that Stone wasn’t legally eligible for either commutation or pardon, and it’s a straight-up payoff for not testifying on the crimes that Stone has admitted he knew about/committed.

    • People really should click on links and read the link for themselves. No one should rely on anyone to tell them what a link says.

  4. Oh I would just love it if the commutation was declared illegal. I won’t get my hopes up too high but just the idea puts a smile on my face!

  5. Just a quick query for any legal eagle out there – Stone was demanding a retrial (to prove his ‘innocence’). Now if there’s a fresh trial and the low bar doesn’t slap the lawyers, can he be re-sentenced and where would that leave the commutation (especially if any verdict stalls until January)?

  6. I’m thinking that Commuting Stone’s sentence instead of issuing a full blown pardon (at this time) was an attempt by Trump (and Stone) to try and pull of a PR stunt to reduce political blowback that was sure to happen. The power of a President to pardon individuals of crimes is almost unfettered in our Constitution and there is nothing to prevent Trump from issuing a full blown pardon down the road – say the day after the election or even after the polls close out west on election night itself. Sort of a special fuck off America (whether he wins or loses) if you will.

    The immediate problem for Stone and Trump was keeping Stone from having to report to jail tomorrow. Stone put forth some spin about wanting a commutation instead of a pardon because the latter “implies” guilt. I was furious the media didn’t call this out for the bullshit it was. A commuted sentence has the same legal effect as a conviction except that the individual is absolved of any (or any more) jail time or fines. As for a pardon, I wrote a piece long ago over on DK explaining that there are not one but TWO Scotus rulings establishing precedent that acceptance of a pardon carries with it legal acceptance of guilt for the crime(s) committed.

    But again, even if Trump signed a prepared DOJ order approving the commutation of Stone’s sentence I believe it was nothing more than a stopgap measure to keep him from having to go to jail tomorrow in the hopes of minimizing the political fallout of keeping Stone from having to report to prison. A full pardon was always going to take place. Like others I shudder to think of the pardons yet to come – AFTER the election.

  7. That you Jesus we have judge stepping and confronting the pig in the White House. He thinks he can do whatever he wants. The only thing he can do for me is drop dead.

  8. If what Trump did turns out to be illegal, which I expect is what will happen, this is one more nail iin his coffin, one more federal charge against him.

  9. Ursula,
    That is a welcome analysis.

    On other sites, most comments consist of wailing and gnashing and that is no longer enough for me.

    I want to see some ACTION!

  10. He’s already broken so many rules. He pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio who had not even been sentenced yet and who had never expressed remorse for what he did.

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