House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Saturday, condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of his former adviser and longtime friend, Roger Stone, calling it, “an act of staggering corruption.”
Pelosi vowed in a statement that Congress would take action to prevent any further unabashed attempts by the president to free convicted friends from serving out sentences.
“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,” Pelosi wrote.
Stone is the latest Trump ally to reap a reward for standing by the president and committing his loyalty by blocking Trump from blame for what Pelosi called Trump’s own “criminal misconduct.”
Stone had been investigated during the Russia probe for his involvement in a Russian interference scheme in the 2016 presidential election.
In addition to five counts of lying to Congress, Stone was charged with witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding. He was due to report to prison on Tuesday before Trump’s brazen reprieve of his sentence.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney (UT) on Saturday also became one of the first Republicans in Congress to formally chastise the president following his decision calling it and act “historic corruption.”
Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020
Ahead of the decision on Friday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) weighed in about Trump’s consideration of clemency for Stone, tweeting his support for commutation, saying “it would be justified” for Trump to intervene, adding that Stone’s offenses were “non-violent” and “the first time.”
Trump defended his decision on Saturday, adding fuel to a White House narrative on Stone’s alleged victimization. In a morning tweet, he said that his friend was “targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt.” The comments are the latest in Trump’s warping of the justice system – making an institution of the rule of law, into a political issue of right and left, and baselessly claiming that it was Democrats – “the other side” – that are “criminals.”
Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign – AND GOT CAUGHT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2020