The Atlantic

Trump’s Most Brazen Reprieve Yet

The president’s commutation of Roger Stone was inevitable from the start.
Source: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Forget Bernie Kerik, Scooter Libby, Michael Milken—even Sheriff Joe Arpaio. This was the presidential reprieve President Donald Trump’s critics feared most.

Trump’s move tonight to commute the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, nearly five months after a federal judge sentenced him to more than three years in prison, was surely the least surprising of his many high-profile acts of executive clemency. The president, after all, had been complaining about Stone’s prosecution from the start; had telegraphed by tweet his displeasure with the Department of Justice’s sentencing recommendation; and had tried to browbeat Judge Amy Berman Jackson into granting Stone a new trial.

But the seeming inevitability of Trump’s, Stone “was not prosecuted for standing up for the president; he was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”

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