Former special counsel Robert Mueller issued a rare public rebuke in a Washington Post op-ed a day after President Trump moved to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence.
On Friday night, Trump commuted the sentence of Stone, who previously worked as a former campaign adviser to the President. Last November, Stone was convicted of seven crimes including obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.
Stone’s conviction came after Mueller’s two-year investigation into accusations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Mueller’s probe found evidence of correspondence between Stone and WikiLeaks regarding the release of hacked Democratic party emails during the election cycle, but he concluded that he did not have the authority to charge Trump even if there are grounds to do so.
In a Washington Post op-ed titled “Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so,” Mueller argued that the work of the special counsel’s office during his tenure “should speak for itself.”
“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes,” Mueller wrote. “He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”
Mueller hit back at the President’s claims that prosecutors acted in bad faith towards Stone and other Trump associates.
“We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law,” Mueller wrote. “The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.”
Shortly after commuting Stone’s sentence on Friday night, Trump told reporters that Stone and other associates who were convicted of crimes in the Russia probe found themselves in a “witch-hunt”.
“They’ve all been treated unfairly, and what I did, I will tell you this: people are extremely happy, because in this country, they want justice,” Trump said on Friday night.
Stone celebrated his commutation on Friday night as well, telling onlookers outside of his Fort Lauderdale, Florida home that the President “saved my life,” and gave him “an opportunity to fight for vindication.”