President Trump delivered remarks at the Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Headquarters today. He brought up the topic of Roger Stone’s sentencing. The long-time friend of the President was sentenced to 40 months in prison today.
As the President noted, the charges against Stone, including lying to Congress, were unfairly delivered to him even though no charges have been filed against others who committed similar offences.
“They say he lied. But other people lied, too,” the President said. “Just to mention Comey lied. McCabe lied. Lisa Page lied. Her lover, Strzok, Peter Strzok, lied.”
The President talked about the forewoman of the jury, Tomeka Hart, who made inflammatory anti-Trump remarks on social media that were not disclosed until after Stone was found guilty. Though not mentioning her by name, he alluded to her before noting that we would not intervene… yet.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 20, 2020
“So if this woman was tainted,” he said. “I hope the judge will find that she was tainted, and if she isn’t tainted that will be fine, too.”
Then, the President gave his first indication that he will not be using his pardoning powers immediately.
“But I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a President of the United States,” he said. “I want the process to play out. I think that’s the best thing to do because I’d love to see Roger exonerated. And I’d love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly.”
He concluded that segment of his speech, which was clearly off-the-cuff, by telling the “fake news” media that he will not intervene at this time but will watch the situation closely and let it play out. Then, he continued with his speech about those graduating from the penal system.
A pardon of Stone would be used as political fodder by Democrats to try to paint the President as abusing his power on behalf of an ally. They’ve already been doing that based on his Tweets, so a pardon would send them over the edge. But considering all that has happened (and not happened) with the swamp and the lack of charges filed against its members, it seems likely the President will not let his friend spend a day in jail.
The President left the door wide open for a future pardon, but he’s not going to act on it until all other options are exhausted. Those options seem to be limited, which means he’s likely going to have to act or let Roger Stone go to prison.
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