President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of his longtime confidant Roger Stone on Friday for crimes related to the Russia investigation, according to the Associated Press.
The commutation comes just days before Stone was expected to begin his prison sentence on Tuesday after his conviction on seven felony charges. In a statement to the press, the White House confirmed the commuting of the sentence and said Stone was a victim of the “Russia Hoax.”
Actual statement from WH press secretary on commutation of Roger Stone sentence: pic.twitter.com/6Xpg6AbcbB
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 11, 2020
Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison in February after having been found guilty in November 2019 on all federal counts in a trial stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Those counts included providing false statements to the House Intelligence Committee about contact with WikiLeaks, obstructing a congressional investigation of Russian election interference, and witness tampering.
Witness tampering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while the other counts carry a maximum sentence of five years each. Following the conviction, Trump tweeted that Stone’s verdict was a “double standard” and accused figures like Robert Mueller, Adam Schiff, James Comey and Hillary Clinton of lying themselves.
At the time, it was believed Trump would pardon Stone. The president ramped up his support of his friend and ally the week of the sentencing, tweeting things like, “Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”
A commutation does not erase Stone’s felony conviction the way a pardon would, but it protects him from serving time in prison. In recent days, Trump had hinted about the possible commutation, and as recently as Friday said he would consider a pardon. In the past, Stone had pleaded for help from Trump in a series of Instagram posts, saying his life would be endangered if he were to serve prison time during the pandemic.
In April, Stone said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that his pending prison sentence of 3-plus years is “essentially a death sentence.”
Read original story Trump Commutes Roger Stone’s Prison Sentence At TheWrap