Roger Stone is a sleazebag. He's this, that, or the other. I don't care. Whether he's a political operative with an affinity for all things Nixon, the boogeyman, or whatever the liberal media wants to hurl at him, it doesn't matter. It's immaterial to the case for which he was the victim of a witch hunt. And you bet Roger Stone doesn't care what these liberal media clowns think of him either; he relishes that they hate him.
President Trump recently commuted his sentence regarding his convictions of witness tampering and lying to Congress for which he was supposed to serve 40 months in jail. That won't happen (via WSJ):
President Trump commuted the sentence of Roger Stone Friday, wielding his executive power just days before his longtime friend and political adviser was set to report to prison.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced the move—which all but ends any legal jeopardy for Mr. Stone…declaring that he was a “victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency.”
Mr. Stone was convicted in federal court in November of making false statements, witness tampering and trying to impede a congressional investigation into Russian election interference. He was set to report to prison Tuesday to begin serving a 40-month sentence.
Mr. Trump called Mr. Stone ahead of the announcement to let him know he would be commuting the sentence. The decision came shortly after a federal appeals court denied an emergency request by Mr. Stone to delay the start of his prison term.
“Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that should never have taken place,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Saturday morning.
Mr. Trump’s action brings to a close one of the final remaining cases stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race and whether anyone in the Trump campaign was involved.
Yeah, and that right there is the issue: the Special Counsel investigation.
Michael Tracey is a liberal, a proud one. Maybe you could call him a progressive of the old mold, one that hasn't been totally un-spooled by the mob antics and the "woke" police ethos. Tracey is also very much an independent reporter, which means he has no company line to toe. As such, he's attracted a lot of haters from the Left. His former employers at The Young Turks have criticized him. Why? Well, for starters, he's been a Trump-Russia collusion skeptic from the beginning. With a tinge of sarcasm, he's undercut, mocked, and outright eviscerated the key points of the collusion myth and excoriated its peddlers. Yes, Trump-Russia collusion is a myth for which there is no evidence. There never was any evidence, even as the Special Counsel's office (SCO) under Robert Mueller desperately tried to find some; they couldn't. And the entire SCO probe was based on a lie.
Mueller took over the FBI's counterintelligence probe after FBI Director James Comey was fired in May of 2017 for cause. Was it to get the truth or offer a shine job on an FBI investigation that had become totally unhinged? The entire basis for this myth was the Trump dossier, which was compiled by an ex-British spook, Christopher Steele, who was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democrats. It was a piece of unverified political opposition research that was total garbage. It was used to secure a FISA spy warrant on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official. It was used to launch a covert surveillance operation against the Trump campaign proper, but don't call it spying. And it was used to go after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was finally vindicated when an internal DOJ memo said they determined he was not a Russian agent six days after his interview with FBI agents. An interview which the DOJ under William Barr now says had no basis since there was no evidence to rope Flynn into such a meeting or any federal investigation.
Mueller rehashed the Flynn Logan Act allegation, which was nonsense to go after him, put the screws to him, which led to him pleading guilty to "lying to the FBI" charges. Again, it seems the Trump-Russia collusion clown car merely changed drivers when Mueller took over. After the Flynn fiasco, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel made just that observation, noting that maybe the entire SCO needs to go under review.
And that's why the commutation of Roger Stone shouldn't shock anyone. I couldn't care less if he's a shady guy or not. The basis for which he was targeted was a lie.
How bad was SCO in their ethics? Well, it's been alleged that in order to try and find evidence of collusion, someone there supposedly leaked a fake story to CNN, where they reported that Paul Manafort was under FISA surveillance. He wasn't, but it gave cause for the judge to compel testimony from Manafort's own attorney to see if the former Trump campaign chair was a foreign agent. There was no evidence again, but the SCO allegedly nuked attorney-client privilege in this fishing expedition. Oh, and everyone who was indicted by Mueller's investigation was never charged with anything relating to Russian collusion.
It's because of this that Tracey, in his usual entertaining but informative Twitter posts, wrote, "Roger Stone was convicted of crimes stemming from a Special Counsel investigation that was fundamentally predicated on hysterical fallacies and fake conspiracy theories, so yes that is legitimate grounds for a commutation."
“To shield” the president of what? There was no conspiracy to cover up. Did you read the Mueller Report? Did you follow Stone’s trial? The imputation of some sinister underlying fact pattern here is belied by the actual evidence, but I know evaluating “evidence” is old-fashioned https://t.co/TcWKD5xMGP— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 11, 2020
Roger Stone is a sleaze bag -- that's well established. But the prosecution of him was ill-founded, just like the rest of the Mueller investigation. It was based on a lie. As such, a commutation is certainly warranted for process crimes pursuant to that fraudulent investigation— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 11, 2020
"Other people are wrongly imprisoned, therefore it's unfair if Roger Stone is spared wrongful imprisonment" is not a compelling argument. Argue for Trump (or any president) to grant MORE commutations if that's the case, then -- not fewer— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 11, 2020
Roger Stone was convicted of crimes stemming from a Special Counsel investigation that was fundamentally predicated on hysterical fallacies and fake conspiracy theories, so yes that is legitimate grounds for a commutation— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 11, 2020
The obstinate years-long refusal to accept that the Mueller investigation was launched on false pretenses creates a media environment whereby commuting Roger Stone’s sentence can be portrayed as a fascist power-grab rather than a partial remediation of prosecutorial misconduct— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 11, 2020
The underlying offense for which Roger Stone was so intensively investigated (conspiring with Russia) did not exist, despite the best efforts of Mueller & co. to manufacture it. If you think that should have no bearing on whether he’s thrown in prison, YOU are the authoritarian— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 11, 2020
And to ensure more liberal heads explode, Tracey added, "the obstinate years-long refusal to accept that the Mueller investigation was launched on false pretenses creates a media environment whereby commuting Roger Stone's sentence can be portrayed as a fascist power-grab rather than a partial remediation of prosecutorial misconduct."
And with those who think this is a fascist maneuver by Trump, Tracey wrote, "The underlying offense for which Roger Stone was so intensively investigated (conspiring with Russia) did not exist, despite the best efforts of Mueller & Co. to manufacture it. If you think that should have no bearing on whether he's thrown in prison, you are the authoritarian."
Granted, Tracey is no fan of Stone. Again, he noted, "the prosecution of him was ill-founded, just like the rest of the Mueller investigation. It was based on a lie. As such, a commutation is certainly warranted for process crimes pursuant to that fraudulent investigation."
And as law professor Jonathan Turley wrote recently, another person who is not an ally of the president, Trump's commutation of Stone is hardly as controversial as the ones issued by Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, Harry Truman, FDR, and even George H.W. Bush. This story serves as another gauge on Trump derangement syndrome within the media and the perpetual circus act they keep producing for the masses.