President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes on Friday, using the power of his office to help a former campaign adviser days before Mr. Stone was to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month term.
In a lengthy statement released late on a Friday evening, the White House denounced the prosecution against Mr. Stone on what it called “process based charges” stemming from “the Russia Hoax” investigation. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the statement said. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”
Punctuated by the same sort of inflammatory language and angry grievances characteristic of the president’s Twitter feed, the official statement assailed “overzealous prosecutors” working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and the “witch hunts” aimed at the president and his associates. It attacked the “activist juror” who led the panel that convicted Mr. Stone and went on to complain about the show of force used by federal law enforcement agents when he was arrested.
To state the obvious:
The abuse of the powers of pardon and commutation for personal benefit is squarely, centrally, an impeachment offense.— Jacob T. Levy (@jtlevy) July 11, 2020
Between now and Election Day will be the 100 longest years of my life.