Trump Commutes Advisor and Associate Roger Stone

Issuing a statement characterized by his usual provocative language attacking the prosecutors who passed judgment by relying on "process-based charges", the president commuted Roger Stone’s sentence. The move to commute was Trump's latest attempt to discredit the Mueller probe which has greatly exhausted his presidency. Even as it was celebrated by his most staunch supporters, the silent response from most Republican lawmakers, and in consideration of Stone's own self-proclaimed  "dirty trickster" history, suggest that they see the president's interference with the nation's justice system will be overwrought with political risks.

Contention over commutation:  President Trump's commutation of the 3-year imprisonment of his long-serving confidant and former campaign consultant drew many violent reactions. Even when found guilty by a jury of fellow Americans, Stone will not be jailed. Many are outraged and say Trump’s commutation of a convict is an unparalleled display of corruption and abuse of power. Trump justifies his act by saying Stone was a target of an illegal persecution and by accusing Biden and Obama of illegal campaign espionage. And the White House officially stated that Stone was a hoax victim and would risk his health if imprisoned.

 A case of complicated calculations: In granting the commutation, Trump believes Stone will be exonerated as he is allowed to appeal his convictions. The commutation additionally serves a double purpose for Trump. First, it is saving a close political ally deeply involved in his promotion of Clinton’s hacked emails campaign. Secondly, it is casting doubt on Mueller's probe into Russia interference in the 2016 election. This calculating move is complicated by Stone's persona who is not loved by many in Trump's inner circle and worsened by his incendiary pre- and post- trial behavior.

Just or unfair:  In his first post-clemency public interview, Stone complained that he was denied a fair trial in a federal court by sadistic and politically motivated prosecutors. On the other hand, Attorney General Barr said during an interview that he found the prosecution ethical

and the verdict just. Yet the tirade goes on, with Trump, his allies, and the White House echoing Stone's claim of being victimized by an arranged jury and partial judge who believe in his involvement in a Russia Hoax.

A case of reciprocity? Now that he won't be languishing in a "death-sentence" covid-19 infested jail, Stone revealed his plan to campaign for Trump saying he will do anything necessary to get his candidate elected.

Justified? Mueller's probe which convicted Stone was eyed by Trump's strongest supporters as an existential threat to his presidency and administration. So when the president moved to commute Stone's sentence, this energized his MAGA support base that was looking for ways to stand behind the Florida man. Of the Russia conspiracy investigation, Sen. Graham says that the investigators must be investigated allowing us to look at the other side of the story. It seems Trump and his allies have successfully portrayed Stone as a martyr reinforcing their claim of a deep state out to destroy Trump's administration.