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Outrage is growing among opponents of Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence of his longtime friend and notorious Republican fixer Roger Stone despite the US attorney general having declared Stone’s conviction “righteous”.

Criticism on Saturday came from both sides of the political aisle.

Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and chairmen of the House intelligence committee – the congressional panel Stone was convicted of lying to about aspects of the Trump-Russia investigation – called the decision “destructive of the criminal justice system and the rule of law” on Saturday morning.

Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican of Utah, described the decision as “unprecedented, historic corruption”.

Mitt Romney
(@MittRomney)

Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.


July 11, 2020

Trump commuted the sentence of Stone on Friday night. He was a former campaign adviser to the president and was due on Tuesday to begin a sentence of three years and four months in jail.

Stone, 67, was convicted in November 2019 of obstructing a congressional investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

Trump said that Stone was targeted in an “illegal witch-hunt”, prompting the global politics professor and political columnist Brian Klass to tweet on Saturday: “This is a complete lie. Roger Stone committed a series of well-documented crimes that are not seriously contested.”

He added: “This is what despots do: wield the law like a weapon to attack political opponents and protect loyal cronies. It’s a disgraceful, dark day for American democracy.”

Stone was convicted in November 2019 of seven crimes, including obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering in the congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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