It’s another Friday in Trump world, which means that it’s another day to fire, pardon, or commit other legal shenanigans of a questionable nature. Roger Stone is telegraphing that he wants to have his sentence commuted, or he might open his mouth. Howard Fineman is with NBC News.
Just had a long talk with #RogerStone. He says he doesn’t want a pardon (which implies guilt) but a commutation, and says he thinks #Trump will give it to him. “He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”
— howardfineman (@howardfineman) July 10, 2020
That is crony-speak for, “I didn’t turn on Trump, so he owes me a favor. I did my job, now he needs to do his.” Otherwise, Roger Stone goes to the House of Many Doors on Tuesday.
Not surprisingly, Fox News has an exclusive:
Sources told Fox News Friday that the president could announce a commutation of Stone’s sentence as early as Friday evening.
The president, as recently as Friday morning, has said he was “looking at” offering Stone clemency, saying he was “very unfairly treated.”
Stone was set to report to prison on July 14 to serve 40 months. He was sentenced in February to more than three years in prison after being convicted in November 2019 on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress on charges that stemmed from Mueller’s investigation. Stone, however, has appealed his conviction and continues to deny any wrongdoing.
Trump, for weeks, has signaled he could be open to granting Stone clemency — tweeting last month that Stone was “a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”
And that is Trump-speak for “please don’t open your mouth, Roger, I’m taking care of it.” Now, clearly, there are people telling Trump how horrible the optics of pardoning Roger Stone will be. Bill Barr has purportedly begged him not to do it, to prevent a mutiny at the Department of Justice. But it looks like Trump is set to ignore that. He probably figures that the whole city is on fire, what’s one more building? Let ’em go nuts at Justice. Trump’s going to CYA because that’s all he knows or cares about.