Mueller: Roger Stone Still "A Convicted Felon, & Rightly So" Despite Trump Commutation

Robert Mueller, several elected officials, and conservative writers criticized the president’s decision to commute Stone’s sentence, calling it “staggering corruption.”

Roger Stone leaves a court hearing on May 30, 2019 in Washington, DC | Getty Images
Roger Stone leaves a court hearing on May 30, 2019 in Washington, DC | Getty Images

Former special counsel Robert Mueller and several elected officials have criticized President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of his longtime friend and associate, convicted felon Roger Stone, calling the move a type of “brazen wrongdoing.” 

After the White House released a statement Friday evening announcing Trump’s “executive grant of clemency,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Saturday that the decision “to commute the sentence of top campaign advisor Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption.” 

“Congress will take action to prevent this type of brazen wrongdoing,” Pelosi’s statement continued. “Legislation is needed to ensure that no President can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that President from criminal prosecution.”

Stone was convicted on seven felony charges by a federal jury in 2019 including lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering. Stone was charged after lying to House Intelligence investigators about his conversations with Wikileaks in connection with Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails and the Trump campaign. He was also charged with trying to obstruct the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election. Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison. 

Mueller, a former FBI director who led the Department of Justice’s independent Russia investigation which led to Stone’s sentencing, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post Saturday which said, “Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

The official White House statement Friday said that the former adviser “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,” the statement continued. “Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said on Sunday during an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that the commutation was an “abuse” of the president’s power and that other Republican leaders are refusing to take a stand against Trump.  

“Republicans won’t stand up for the rule of law, won’t stand up for the independence of the Justice Department,” Schiff said. “It shouldn’t matter but this was a Republican-led investigation that Roger Stone lied to.” 

Schiff continued to say that only a few GOP leaders were willing to say “a single word” against Trump and about Stone, who “came in before Congress and lied to them, intimidated witnesses and obstructed them, and why? Because he did it to cover-up for a president of their party.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), the lone Republican in the Senate who voted to convict Trump of abuse of power in his impeachment trial, called the commutation “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also reacted to the news of Stone’s commutation, saying Republican leaders “enabled” the president after they voted to acquit Trump after he was impeached by the House. She also tweeted Mueller’s op-ed from the Washington Post, where he addressed the “broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office.” 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) also criticized Trump’s move, highlighting the “broken and racist criminal justice system” as the president chooses to commute Stone’s sentence “while Black and Brown kids sit in jail.” 

Conservative writers like Bill Kristol also blasted the decision: