Late Friday evening, President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of his longtime political operative Roger Stone.
The president's friend was convicted of impeding a congressional inquiry into Russian interference in the U.S. election.
The move comes just days before Roger Stone was supposed to go to prison.
House Intelligence Committed chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) said of Trump's move tonight: “Commuting the sentence of Roger Stone, a crony who lied and obstructed to protect Trump, is among the most offensive to the rule of law.”
Schiff: “Trump makes clear there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else. Trump, Barr, and those who enable them pose the gravest of threats to rule of law.”
More at the New York Times:
In a lengthy statement released late on a Friday evening, the White House denounced the prosecution against Mr. Stone on what it called “process based charges” stemming from “the Russia Hoax” investigation. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the statement said. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”
Punctuated by the same sort of inflammatory language and angry grievances characteristic of the president’s Twitter feed, the official statement assailed “overzealous prosecutors” working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and the “witch hunts” aimed at the president and his associates. It attacked the “activist juror” who led the panel that convicted Mr. Stone and went on to complain about the show of force used by federal law enforcement agents when he was arrested.
“These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice,” the statement said. “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.”
The statement did not argue that Mr. Stone was innocent, only that he should not have been pursued. “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,” it said.
Joseph Arpaio, Scooter Libby, Dinesh D'Souza, Michael Milken, Bernard Kerik, Rod Blagojevich, and now, Roger Stone.
— David Gura (@davidgura) July 11, 2020