Trump Not Immediately Pardoning Roger Stone, Says He’s Letting ‘The Process Play Out’
“I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States, I want the process play out, I think that’s the best thing to do,” Trump said to an audience of former felons graduating from a second-chance program in Las Vegas.
He noted he may pardon him in the future.
“At some point I’ll make a determination, but Roger Stone and everybody has to be treated fairly. And this has not been a fair process,” Trump said.
Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Thursday for lying to Congress during the Mueller investigation to protect Trump and threatening a witness.
“I’d love to see Roger exonerated and I’d love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly,” Trump said noting that he has a “very good chance of exoneration.”
He complimented Stone, saying “He’s a smart guy, he’s a little different, but those are sometimes the most interesting. But he’s a good person. His family is fantastic.”
The original prosecutors handling the Stone case had suggested a sentence of seven to nine years, but Attorney General William Barr directed the Justice Department to override that recommendation and to pursue a shorter sentence after Trump complained on Twitter about its length. Barr’s intervention caused all four prosecutors working the case to quit.
The presiding judge, Amy Berman Jackson, said the prosecutors had correctly followed guidelines, but ended up handing Stone a significantly lighter sentence.