Donald Trump commuted Roger Stone’s 40-month prison sentence for obstruction

Roger Stone is surrounded by media as he makes a court appearance after being arrested this morning in Fort Lauderdale

I’ve been so focused recently on Ghislaine Maxwell that I haven’t paid much attention to Donald Trump’s many other legal shenanigans, like all of the horsesh-t with Michael Flynn (who still isn’t in prison, even though he honestly did commit treason) or this stuff with Roger Stone. Both Stone and Flynn had complicated, years-long cases involving intensive investigations, Trump tweets, treason, dirty tricks and more. In Flynn’s case, he was actively serving as a de facto double agent.

In Stone’s case, most of what he did fell under the Nixonian “dirty tricks” type of criminality, although there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Stone was basically the middleman between the Russian hacking of Democratic officials, the information being given to Wikileaks and from there, the Trump campaign. Stone was convicted of obstructing a congressional investigation (which is like obstruction of justice) and prosecutors were still looking at his middleman activities between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Stone is also a long-time Republican operative and a long-time Trump friend/associate. So no surprise, Trump just commuted Roger Stone’s 40 month sentence.

President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes on Friday, using the power of his office to spare a former campaign adviser days before Mr. Stone was to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month term. In a lengthy written statement punctuated by the sort of inflammatory language and angry grievances characteristic of the president’s Twitter feed, the White House denounced the “overzealous prosecutors” who convicted Mr. Stone on “process-based charges” stemming from the “witch hunts” and “Russia hoax” investigation.

The statement did not assert that Mr. Stone was innocent of the false statements and obstruction counts, only that he should not have been pursued because prosecutors ultimately filed no charges of an underlying conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” it said. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”

The commutation, announced late on a Friday, when potentially damaging news is often released, was the latest action by the Trump administration upending the justice system to help the president’s convicted friends. The Justice Department moved in May to dismiss its own criminal case against Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. And last month, Mr. Trump fired Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney whose office prosecuted Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, and has been investigating Rudolph W. Giuliani, another of his lawyers.

Democrats quickly condemned the president’s decision, characterizing it as an abuse of the rule of law. “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,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a leader of the drive to impeach Mr. Trump last year for pressuring Ukraine to incriminate his domestic rivals.

Two House committee chairmen quickly announced that they would investigate the circumstances of the commutation, suggesting that it was a reward for Mr. Stone’s silence protecting the president. “No other president has exercised the clemency power for such a patently personal and self-serving purpose,” said a statement issued by Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn B. Maloney, both New York Democrats.

[From The NY Times]

I mean… I completely get the outrage, but surely everyone was expecting this? Trump has been indicating for months that he would do something like this. I think if Flynn ever does get for-real sentenced and he’s just days away from reporting to prison, Trump will do the same for Flynn too. Trump’s only currency is loyalty to him and nothing else. Flynn has “shown loyalty” and Stone has always been 100% behind Trump. So this is their reward. And you should remember that in November. Trump’s actions are so far beyond what’s normal for any president.

Mitt Romney was the only Republican who issued any kind of harsh statement on the commutation of Roger Stone. As I said on Twitter, Romney doesn’t deserve a cookie for merely saying something true, but it’s notable that he was the only Republican to do so.

Conservative lobbyist and consultant Roger Stone talks to press at Trump Tower

President Trump holds an event on Protecting Seniors with Diabetes

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Backgrid.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

48 Responses to “Donald Trump commuted Roger Stone’s 40-month prison sentence for obstruction”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lightpurple says:

    On Friday, Barr also removed the US Attorney for the EDNY, who was investigating the allegations that Nagini embezzled millions from the Inauguration Committee.

    Lindsey Graham tweeted that he believed Stone deserved a full pardon earlier in the day. I sent another donation to Jaimie Harrison.

    Stone threatened the judge who was hearing his case. I do hope the next AG prosecutes him for that.

    • Jay says:

      Good for you for donating to Harrison, @lightpurple – I think that threatening their hold on the Senate is the only way to peel off Republicans from Trump.
      I’ve always said that I doubted his ability to help even people who are “loyal” to him – sure, he can hold rallies and raise money for himself, but his endorsement game is pretty lackluster. He will never share resources, credit, or the spotlight, and he is too stupid to see it would be in his own interests to keep the Senate (almost like he lacks a fundamental understanding of government).

      • Lightpurple says:

        And Lindsey Graham really needs to go. He has done great harm to this nation in his own right.

    • AnnaKist says:

      So she’s finally been stripped of the “Princess” title? Good work, Lightpurple. 💜

    • Snappyfish says:

      Claire McCaskell went after Lady G for that comment. She called him a POS (!) & reminded he knows the law & that Stone should go directly to jail. He is guilty of 7 felons against the country. Interesting tidbit, his sentence was commented because Trump can not pardon (since he has been impeached) any crime that is in conjunction to the impeachment.

      Now bring Stone into congress, put him under oath & penalty of perjury & make him talk. He can no longe take the 5th. I Am sick to death of this low rent version of the Sopranos running the country

  2. Ripley says:

    I have what I call the ‘Squirel Theory’ (think dog from “Up”) when it comes to Trump and the media. Barr is over removing high level persons from SDNY, EDNY and DC and then Trump says, “Squirrel!” by commuting Stone and the media runs to do mass coverage on the Squirrel story.

    Commuting Roger Stone’s sentence is wrong and obstruction of justice, but what Barr did that same day is more worrisome to me

    • Sean says:


      Trump could be pardoned for Federal crimes but not for state crimes. He had the DAs for Washington DC, SDNY and EDNY to fear. While the media was screaming about Roger Stone’s commutation, Barr decapitated all three departments.

      • Badrockandroll says:

        SDNY is federal jurisdiction, as is EDNY.
        I get very confused over jurisdiction, but it seems to me that the investigations for state prosecution in NY and NJ are safe. The Democratic governors of each state aren’t likely to intervene, and I don’t think that federal authority extends to state investigations/prosecutions/personnel.
        Although with 45, who knows what quid pro quo he may try?

    • Lightpurple says:

      I find what Barr did on Friday very worrisome. I also suspect the EDNY was probably very close to bringing charges against Ivanka for embezzling millions from the Inauguration Committee.

    • Gaah says:

      The cable news channels did report on the EDNY ousting. But the SDNY ousting backfired as Barr was unable to put his stooge in place. Instead the deputy was put in the Berman role and she is not going to be swayed or controlled by Barr.

    • JanetDR says:

      I saw his wearing a mask as a “Squirrel! ” moment.

  3. SamC says:

    There is a story in the NYT about this today. Everyone figured Trump would pardon/commute but, no surprise, they have such a dysfunctional relationship Trump made Stone sweat it out. Story also said that it’s likely the main reason Trump did it is because he wants/needs Stone’s bag of dirty tricks for his re-election campaign.

  4. Badrockandroll says:

    Senator Toomey (R-PA) also mildly criticized Trump, as he has in the past (Charlottesville, tariffs). But he did not vote for impeachment. Not up for election until 2022, so he can play these “on the one hand I am concerned, on the other hand …” games to look like he has a conscience, without the ramifications that Susan Collins will face in in 4 months.
    Disgusting, but not as disgusting as Lady G, who said that a sentence commutation for Stone is totally a-ok, since Stone is elderly and a first-time non-violent offender.
    As a Canadian, I cannot donate to American campaigns. I can volunteer, but current conditions rule out travelling to the US. And I have already walked through imaginary conversations with GOP-leaning border guards barring me from entry to the US because ‘volunteer duties’ can be construed as a foreigner coming to do something that an American might be paid for.
    So you guys are on your own – vote them all out.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I’m a constituent of Toomey’s and let’s just say he’s an utter POS who’s known for this sort of game. He may well see some writing on the wall and wants to throw an occasional bone in the hopes he can point to his occasional gestures like this to claim he was on the right side of history

  5. Jay says:

    Notably, Stone said the quiet part out loud when he said he received clemency for “not turning” on the president even though it would have helped “his situation”. How are they all still SO bad at being bad?

  6. Esmom says:

    In a world where most people are decent and upstanding, who adhere to a moral code and are trying in their own ways to do good, we end up with the absolute scum of the earth at the top. It is demoralizing and disheartening.

    • Allergy says:

      It really is.

    • shanaynay says:


    • Traveler says:

      They are left unchecked in the highest positions because no republican has a spine. They have been allowed the freedom to thwart all potential checks and balances. Now they are erasing all future potential efforts to make them pay for the blatant crimes they knowingly committed. These are morally bankrupt people who hold the reins.
      I never knew it could be this bad and it has been bad before.

  7. KellyRyan says:

    Romney gets zero kudos from me. The Mormon and Catholic churches contributed 52 million to Promote Prop 8 in California which would prevent same sex marriages. All this money used to disenfranchise a group of people who are covered under the 14th equal rights amendment. Money which could have been used to help church members, elderly, children, unemployed. As to Stone, Drumpf has zero friends. He views people as something to use for his own interest. Wondering if Barr will testify, or is the house will impeach him.

    • Lightpurple says:

      As governor of MA, Romney completely lost it when the MA SJC ruled in favor of marriage rights. He tried to get an amendment to the state constitution to block it, busing in evangelical protesters from out of state to block entrance to state buildings, the very buildings which he was responsible for running, and tried to strong arm state Republican legislators to push it through. It got insane with then Representative Barney Frank threatening to out a Republican State Senator if he went along with it and that State Senator then outing himself on the floor of the State Senate and voicing opposition to Romney’s plan, which crashed and burned.

      And then there’s the Seamus on the Car Roof Incident.

      • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

        I had no idea what you were referring to, then I found this story (JFC!!!) in WaPo:

        “Romney did not simply strap Seamus to the roof. He attached a dog carrier to the roof rack of the family’s Chevrolet station wagon — the “white whale,” as his boys called it — and assembled a shield to protect Seamus from the highway winds.

        The Seamus story first surfaced in the Boston Globe in a chapter of a biographical series the newspaper published in 2007, when Romney first ran for president.

        One summer day in 1983, as the Globe reported, the overpacked Romney wagon — suitcases, supplies and five sons, ages 13 and under — set off from Boston for the 12-hour trek to his parents’ cottage in Ontario on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron. Romney, then a 36-year-old management consultant, had planned a single stop to refill the tank, get food and go to the bathroom.

        Until the evidence of Seamus’s sickness started dripping down the back window.

        “Dad!” Tagg, the eldest son, yelled from the back of the wagon. “Gross!”

        Romney pulled off the highway, washed down Seamus and the car at a service station, then got back on the highway.”

      • Lightpurple says:

        He put the sick, now soaking wet dog, back up on the roof to subject it to the conditions that made him sick in the first place. And his son Tagg thought this was reason to admire Willard Mittens. Seamus didn’t last much longer with the Romneys.

      • Traveler says:

        There is no limit to the lack of heart and empathy shown by these people. I am sickened by this treatment of a defenseless dog. As much as they didn’t deserve it, I’m sure that dog loved them unconditionally in spite of everything.
        It’s really simple, if you don’t want to love and care for an animal……..then DON’T HAVE ONE.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Thank you for saying this about Romney! I am sick of everyone fawning over his statements. I cynically believe that his impeachment vote was just to guarantee his political future as the “alternative” to Trump when it all burns down (or if Trump resigns before the election). I believe that’s why he marched in the Black Lives Matter protest as well. He doesn’t make a move unless it’s approved by the Mormon church leaders and McConnell.

    • Dani says:

      Agreed. Romney is POS and just as bad as the rest of them.

  8. Swack says:

    Waiting for Manafort and Cohen to be pardon or sentences commuted. Cohen first since he is headed back to jail for breaking his agreement for home confinrment.

    • SamC says:

      Manafort maybe but I’d bet Cheetolini sees Flynn as a traitor (to him) and won’t do anything,

    • CariBean says:

      There’s no way he’d save Cohen. He is seen as an enemy now since he sang like a canary trying to save his own ass.

  9. AnnaKist says:

    Trump commutes sentence of one of his cronies. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tells ya.
    Serious;y, though, what the hell is going on over there?? The last four years of America’s history have been absolutely, unbelievably, undeniably mental, thanks to your maniac president. I wish you could all come here and just leave those bastards to annihilate each other, at which time you could return home, clean up the detritus and start again.

  10. Marjorie says:

    Robert Mueller has an article in the Washington Post today that clearly explains what Roger Stone did and why he should be in prison. He also has a few comments about the the cheeseburger addict. Bill Barr didn’t get to “redact” Mueller’s words in the article so it’s a great read.

    Made me think about a moment in the Barr confirmation hearing when Barr was talking about his long-time friendship with Mueller. Apparently the two men and their wives go way back. He was almost wistful, like he knew it would be over after he took the AG job. Like he knew that he would one day have to do something like arrange for riot police to teargas and fire rubber bullets at young people peacefully protesting at Robert Mueller’s church. Or fire the US attorneys that were closing in on these felons at the same time Trump commuted the sentence of a guy that Mueller indicted.

  11. Teebee says:

    I have come to the conclusion
    There is a surge of mass delusion
    An abandonment of studied reason
    A surrendering and general easement
    Of what made us sit up and pause
    If someone dared to flout the laws
    What’s once considered pure corruption
    Has now been given new presumption
    Those in power get to say
    “I’ll never ever have to pay
    A price for getting what I want!”
    They love to tease they live to taunt

    I speak now of that cursed man
    Whose pallid skin defies the tan
    Whose very visage brings the hork
    Whose hanging jowls remind of pork
    Whose hair is thinning like his polls
    Yet he’s beloved by right wing trolls
    But not by me I will not quiet
    Inside I feel a daily riot
    For though I’m old I never thought
    I’d see the day when crimes aren’t caught
    And punished as they ought to be
    For privilege will set you free
    Blatant are his machinations
    Stupid are his calculations
    He’s always played quite fast and loose
    Deflected, lied and been obtuse
    But clear the message at end of day
    Is that you play my way I’ll sway
    And there’s no will to hold him back
    For fear of being next attacked
    Paralyzed a once great nation
    Twitter-weary but no vacation
    Trump has proven he’s a bust
    Though don’t ask why his base still trusts

    And that’s what brings this diatribe
    What keeps me up what doesn’t jibe
    For though you ask why should we care
    It’s happening way over there
    I fear if we stay too complacent
    Ignore how we are hate-adjacent
    Then all we are is plain complicit
    Your beloved ass? Bend over kiss it
    ‘Cause all that hate eats us alive
    It doesn’t take that much to thrive
    Trump is more than just a guy
    He’s triggered that which just won’t die
    Deep-seated rooted seething rage
    He’s ushered in a new dark age
    It might seem small perhaps a seed
    But a little time is all it needs
    To break through soil that’s tilled with hate
    For threatened lives retaliate
    And soon there’s nothing left of worth
    A smoking globe once fertile earth
    Stripped of all its lush and glory
    No one left to tell the story…

    I hope that though our souls grow weary
    Of all the news that’s sad and dreary
    We’ve lost track of a thousand scandals
    But it’s not more than we can handle
    Band as one and fight our fate
    There still is time it’s not too late
    I might not have the right to vote
    I might live north where it’s remote
    But I’m encouraged to speak the truth
    And cheer on all those Tik Tok youths!
    That one day with the strength and hope
    We will find the means to cope
    Until the US finds its brain
    And starts to make sense once again

  12. Riley says:

    I’m reminded of Harry Potter – once Voldemort fell (the first time), most of his Death Eaters claimed they were under the Imperius Curse, and that’s why they did the things they did. I wonder what kind of excuse these spineless Republicans will use when Trump is no longer in power…

  13. shanaynay says:

    I’m completely 100% embarrassed that we have this POS as President. I love America, but I’m completely embarrassed and ashamed to have a CRIMINAL running this Country!!!

    G-d don’t like ugly, and he’s as ugly as they come. I’m not even talking about his looks. His heart and soul are ugly. His lack of integrity is ugly. His criminal actions are ugly. There’s a special place in HE double hockey sticks for him!!!!

  14. Veronica S. says:

    We all knew it was coming. That was Stone was so smug. Prison is for the poor, you see. The wealthy are allowed to do whatever they want. Vote in November, and then be prepared for how long it’s going to take to fix most of this.

  15. Joanna says:

    My faith in our government’s checks and balances has been destroyed.
    never in a million years would I have thought he could get away with so much

  16. Louise177 says:

    I’m surprised there isn’t some kind of law about pardoning friends and family. I’m just disgusted that the Republicans don’t care about the crimes of this administration. Especially considering how they scream law and order and “blue lives matter”.

  17. Sara says:

    I will never not look at this Stone character and not think he’s the dad from Frasier. My profuse apologies to the dad from Frasier.

    • Chanteloup says:

      I’ll never see him and not think he’s a spider monkey’s asshole.
      My profuse apologies to all spider monkeys’ assholes.

  18. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Right after the commute, I read this little opinion piece. There’s thousands of these now. It’s long overdue.

  19. shanaynay says:

    Will someone please lock up this corrupt criminal already. And while you’re at it, lock of all the his spineless worthless wussy cronies as well.