After suggesting in two interviews on Thursday that he would consider granting a pardon or clemency to former adviser Roger Stone, President Trump confirmed on Friday that he will “be looking at it.”
The president told reporters on Friday, according to POLITICO, that it seemed unfair to him that his former confidant was sentenced to prison while some of his own opponents walk free for a host of other baseless accusations he’s made against them and ramped up in recent days.
“And in the meantime, [former FBI Director James] Comey and all these guys are walking around, including Biden and Obama, because we caught them spying on my campaign,” he continued. “Who would have believed that one?”
When asked if he was considering a pardon for Roger Stone, Pres. Trump said Friday "I'll be looking at it." He said it was unfair for Stone to go to prison while many of his opponents, namely, James Comey, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama, "are walking around." pic.twitter.com/9lSJoqURw7
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 10, 2020
On Thursday, when Fox News commentator Sean Hannity asked the president if he is considering a pardon or commutation for Stone, Trump responded, “I’m always thinking.”
Stone, who is set to go to prison next week, asked an appeals court on Monday to delay his 40-month prison sentence due to health concerns as the coronavirus sweeps through prisons across the nation.
The President has repeatedly defended his longtime confidant, previously calling him the “victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt.”
CNN also reported that according to at least half a dozen sources close to Trump, he is expected to pardon or commute Stone’s sentence.
In another Thursday interview, conservative radio host Howie Carr told Trump that his former associate was “praying” for a pardon before he reports to prison on Tuesday. Trump said “his prayer may be answered,” adding, “let’s see what happens.”
“He was framed. He was treated horrible. He was treated so badly,” Trump told Carr, criticizing Stone’s treatment by law enforcement.
Stone was found guilty last fall of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a Congressional committee proceeding.
Prosecutors said that Stone lied during testimony about attempts to get information that could smear Hillary Clinton and help Trump secure the presidency in 2016.
In February, while prosecutors sought up to nine years in prison for Stone, Attorney General Bill Barr stepped in to soften the sentencing recommendation. All four federal prosecutors withdrew from the case following Barr’s move to undercut their recommendation.
The handling of the case and reduction in sentencing came under scrutiny by Congressional Democrats who questioned the Justice Department’s apparent lack of independence to make its own decisions as it bends under political pressure from Trump.