This is among the most unsurprising stories of the Donald Trump administration: Trump commuted the sentence of one of his closest confidants and political fixers.
Roger Stone was facing a 40-month prison sentence. Until today, when Trump commuted his sentence.
Now, in a way I am somewhat heartened that Trump didn’t issue a blanket pardon for Stone, a decision that would have wiped the record of his conviction for lying under oath off the books. With a commutation, the guilty verdict stands … for whatever it’s worth.
Stone has been a longstanding pal of Trump. He’s been an even more longstanding Republican Party dirty trickster/operative.
He had lied about what he knew about Donald Trump’s campaign shenanigans. According to the Business Insider: A jury convicted Stone of seven felony counts in November, none of which included collusion or conspiracy. The former strategist was convicted of five counts of making false statements to the FBI and congressional investigators, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice.
Stone won’t serve any time behind bars. Does this mean a pardon is out of the question? Hardly. Trump might pardon Stone before leaving office, which I hope is very soon … as in January 2021.
But this decision — or a form of it — was expected all along.
It’s all part and parcel of the way Donald Trump rolls.