Foreign

Trump commutes ex-aide Roger Stone prison sentence, claiming ‘hoax’

Published

on

United States President Donald Trump has commuted the more than three-year prison sentence of his former aide and friend Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering during the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.

In a statement, the White House said Stone was 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.

“These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice,” the White House said.

The White House alleged an attempt to “manufacture the false impression of criminality” once investigators did not find evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

Trump’s executive action is one step short of a presidential pardon, which would have absolved Stone of guilt.

Instead, the action eliminates Stone’s 40-month sentence, but he is still considered a convicted criminal.

“Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the White House said in a statement that mirrored Trump’s twitter rhetoric. “Roger Stone is now a free man!”

The decision came just hours after a federal appeals court rejected Stone’s attempt to delay the start of his prison term, claiming coronavirus-related health concerns.

He was sentenced in February this year and was due to report to prison to start his sentence on Tuesday.

A self-described “dirty trickster,” 67-year-old Stone is an eccentric, and long-time Republican political operative going back to the 1970s.

Stone, who worked on the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, was found guilty on seven charges last year.

He was accused of lying to congressional investigators about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks, which had obtained emails from Hillary Clinton’s team – allegedly hacked by Russian operatives – that were then leaked and used to discredit the Democratic candidate for president and bolster Trump’s campaign.

Democrat Adam Schiff, who led the investigation into Russian collusion in the United States House of Representatives, said the decision is “among the most offensive” of Trump’s actions.

Meanwhile, Stone is also seeking to overturn his conviction through a still pending appeal.

“With this commutation, Trump makes clear that there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else,” Schiff said.

“Donald Trump, (Attorney General) Bill Barr, and all those who enable them pose the gravest of threats to the rule of law.”

Trump has previously used his relatively unchecked presidential power to issue commutations and pardons to political supporters and acquaintances, including a former New York City police commissioner and financier Michael Milken.

Stone’s conviction and sentencing sparked uproar amid accusations of interference from Trump after Attorney General Bill Barr changed the federal government’s sentencing recommendation to “far less” than the initial request.

The four prosecutors working the case subsequently resigned, in an apparent protest.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Emmanuel Yashim

Emmanuel Yashim: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a media subscriber of the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

Latest News

Remarks of Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, at the 2020 Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Fellowship Investiture, Saturday, December 5, 2020 Coronavirus – Namibia: COVID-19 Update 5 December 2020 Henao signs as first-ever Colombian for Team Qhubeka ASSOS Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 5 December 2020, 9 am EAT Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 Daily Information Update (4th December 2020) Coronavirus – Zambia: Daily status update (4th December 2020) Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 reported cases in Ethiopia (4th December 2020) Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 case update (4 December 2020) Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 updates (4 December 2020) Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 Update (4th December 2020) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (4 December 2020) Keynote Speech Delivered by Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, at the Virtual 2020 International Forum on African Leadership, December 4, 2020 NEF Global Gathering 2020 Attractions African business leaders call for sustainable response to the COVID-19 pandemic at UN Global Compact event Janse van Rensburg, Hansen and Pelucchi sign on for Team Qhubeka ASSOS Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 Update (3rd December 2020) Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update for South Africa (3 December 2020) Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 reported cases in Ethiopia (3rd December 2020) Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 updates (3 December 2020) Coronavirus – Zambia: Daily status update (3rd December 2020) DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 signals recovery of globalization from COVID-19 setback Team Qhubeka – u23 UCI Continental feeder team Innovation Accelerator to Stimulate Growth for Youth Promoting Democracy and Governance in Africa Concludes President’s Remarks at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Africa Economic Zones Organization (AEZO) December 3, 2020 Coronavirus – Africa: COVID-19 Update (3rd December 2020) Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 Update (2nd December 2020) Coronavirus – Zambia: Daily status update (2nd December 2020) Landmark Alliance Launches in Africa to Fight COVID-19 Misinformation Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s President H.E Félix Tshisekedi confirmed to deliver the keynote address at Mining Indaba Virtual Local Currency Financing for Off-Grid Energy Solutions in Africa Limited, Needs Scaling Up – African Development Bank Report MEDIA ADVISORY : African Institute for Mathematical Sciences to Host Online Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering: 8-10 December 2020 AIMS to host its first online Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering SAP becomes the perfect medicine for Kiara Health’s complexities and cost challenges Blue Prism Intelligent Automation Now Available in AWS Marketplace WHO Africa Online Press Briefing: Responding to COVID-19 Misinformation in Africa Coronavirus – Kenya: Distribution of Cases by Counties (2 December 2020) Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 updates (2 December 2020) SouthBridge Group announces Two Major Transactions in the Republic of Togo Fabio Aru signs for Team Qhubeka ASSOS Zimbabwean journalist Debra Matabvu wins the 2020 APO Group African Women in Media Award Signing of the Advisory Services Agreement between the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Xalq Bank, Uzbekistan African Energy Chamber Starts a Working Visit to Mozambique to Push for Natural Gas Adoption and Jobs Creation UN Global Compact partners with African Media Agency (AMA) on Virtual SDG Summit Over 3.3 million children vaccinated in Chad in large-scale polio campaign How the world’s highest HIV-prevalence country turned around, and in record time World’s governments must wind down fossil fuel production by 6% per year to limit catastrophic warming Gruesome Boko Haram Killings in Northeast Nigeria Foreign fighters a ‘serious crisis’ in Libya, UN mission chief tells high stakes political forum Ethiopian Government and UN strike deal for ‘unimpeded’ humanitarian access in Tigray Mali: COVID-19 and conflict lead to rise in child trafficking