Source: Grant Baker
On Friday, July 10th, President Trump commuted Roger Stone’s prison sentence. The clemency order, not to be confused with a pardon, allows Stone to fight in the appeals court to clear his name against what many consider a legal railroading. Friends of Stone claim that Trump had offered a pardon only to be rebuffed by Stone who asked for clemency to remain out of jail as he fights through the appeals court.
The decision to grant clemency came after a series of revelations which proved that Mueller’s team of prosecutors had tampered with evidence, manufactured statements, and buried exonerating evidence in their case against General Flynn, prompting the Justice Department to drop the case out of embarrassment. Mueller’s prosecutorial misconduct in the Flynn case strongly mirrors the prosecution of Roger Stone. Despite no underlying crime or Russian collusion found, the prosecution chose to push forward with process crimes.
Stone was accused of threatening a witness after sending text messages to comedian Randy Credico, telling him “my lawyers are dying to rip you to shreds…prepare to die”. Stone felt Credico had spun a false narrative to Mueller’s investigators to throw him under the bus. Even Credico claims the texts were taken out of context and were not threats of violence or intimidation.
Stone was also charged with lying to Congress. When Stone was asked by Congress if he was speaking with Wikileaks, Stone replied that he did not have a contact in the organization, but was speaking with Credico, who had interviewed Julian Assange. This turned out to be a factual statement, but prosecutors alleged that Stone claimed his contact was Credico in order to protect Jerome Corsi. In hindsight, the claim that Stone was lying to protect Corsi from prosecution rings hollow, as Corsi was never found to have committed any crimes and was never charged.
Stone’s case was assigned to Judge Amy Jackson, the same judge who had sent Paul Manafort to months of solitary confinement, 23 hours a day, while awaiting trial. Jackson immediately issued a sweeping gag order against Stone which prohibited him from defending himself in the public eye, later reinterpreting her order to retroactively prohibit forwarding, liking, or sharing any social media post. No such gag orders were issued against the prosecution, which routinely leaked case details, including the infamous pre-dawn raid of Stone’s Florida retirement home conducted by “dozens of FBI agents with automatic weapons and tactical equipment, armored vehicles, and an amphibious unit” as a CNN camera crew looked on. Mueller issued a statement denying the tip off, but video from Stone’s surveillance cameras show the FBI directing the CNN crew where to set up, conferring with them multiple times before the arrest.
Stone’s trial raised eyebrows when Judge Jackson asked the jury forewoman if a verdict had been reached, prompting an irritated response from the forewoman that they had not. It would later turn out that the forewoman had gloated at Stone’s arrest and had made a celebratory social media post the morning of the jury’s conviction. Tomeka Hart, an active Democratic operative with multiple runs for public office, had gained the lead position on the jury which would decide Stone’s guilt. Citing the tainted jury, Stone went on to ask Judge Jackson for a new trial, only to be rebuked by the judge for looking into the jury’s private lives.
Despite Justice Department sentencing guidelines stipulating 15 to 21 months in jail for obstruction of justice cases with no prior crimes, Mueller’s prosecutors went on to recommend 7 to 9 years. Senior officials at the DOJ balked, reversing the recommendation and setting off a media firestorm which accused Roger Stone of having privilege due to his friendship with President Trump. The jury forewoman once again entered the spotlight with a comically timed statement supporting Mueller’s sentencing recommendation and further cementing proof of her anti-Stone bias.
Judge Jackson sentenced Roger Stone to 40 months to be served at FCI Jesup, a COVID-19 hotspot with 30 confirmed active cases as of July 2020. Stone’s known history of asthma and other respiratory problems failed to convince the judge to delay his prison sentence despite prisons releasing thieves, rapists, and murderers due to the virus breakout. After months of fence sitting, President Trump granted Stone clemency on July 10th.
Roger Stone has reportedly spent $3 million over 3 years in legal fees battling Mueller, forced to sell his house to finance his defense. The case has prevented him from earning income and ruined his reputation in international media. Despite this, Stone’s decision to forgo a presidential pardon in favor of a path that allows him to clear his name and embarrass Mueller’s prosecution team speaks volumes of his character. The story will make one hell of a book someday. For now, the White House Press Secretary’s statement will do:
As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface. These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice. 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.