Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has decried President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence of longtime Republican operative Roger Stone, describing the act as “historic corruption.”
“Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” Romney, a staunch critic of President Trump, wrote on Twitter Saturday morning:
Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020
On Friday, President Trump called Stone to notify him of his commuted 40-month sentence that was scheduled to begin Tuesday, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told Breitbart News. Shortly after Breitbart News’s report, the White House confirmed the commutation had occurred.
“Roger Stone is 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. There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
“Mr. Stone would be put at serious medical risk in prison. He has appealed his conviction and is seeking a new trial. He maintains his innocence and has stated that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice system. Mr. Stone, like every American, deserves a fair trial and every opportunity to vindicate himself before the courts,” the statement added. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly. He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”
Ahead of the White House’s announcement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated that he believes a commutation of Stone’s sentence is “justified.” He tweeted, “In my view it would be justified,” adding, “This was a non-violent, first-time offense”:
In my view it would be justified if President @realDonaldTrump decided to commute Roger Stone's prison sentence.
Mr. Stone is in his 70s and this was a non-violent, first-time offense.https://t.co/jbbGTucRpq
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 10, 2020
Stone was convicted in November for making false statements to Congress, interfering in a House of Representatives investigation into debunked collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, and witness tampering.