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Politics Justice Department releases Roger Stone clemency grant after inquiry from judge

02:15  14 july  2020
02:15  14 july  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Roger Stone Asks Trump for Pardon Ahead of July 14 Prison Date

  Roger Stone Asks Trump for Pardon Ahead of July 14 Prison Date Republican operative Roger Stone made a naked appeal to President Donald Trump to grant him a pardon or commute his sentence before he starts a 40-month prison term on July 14. © Bloomberg Roger Stone arrives at federal court in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 20. “I want the president to know that I have exhausted all my legal remedies and that only an act of clemency will provide justice in my case and save my life!” Stone, 67, said in a statement sent by text Tuesday. Stone’s statement came after the U.S.

Roger Stone joined a list of political figures and White House allies who were granted clemency after President Trump commuted his over-three year sentence "The American ideal of equal justice under the law is once again being undermined by a lawless president who regards the Justice Department

Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress, obstructing its inquiry into Russian Statement from the press secretary regarding executive grant of Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in

The Justice Department on Monday made public the official order from President Donald Trump granting clemency to his longtime adviser and friend Roger Stone after a federal judge who oversaw Stone's criminal case raised questions about the the scope of the president's controversial action.

Roger Stone wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at U.S. District Court in Washington, Nov. 6, 2019. © Tom Brenner/Reuters, FILE Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at U.S. District Court in Washington, Nov. 6, 2019.

In an order Monday, D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson called for the Trump administration to provide her with a copy of Trump's executive order granting Stone clemency, and "whether it involves the sentence of incarceration alone or also the period of supervised release."

Roger Stone Should Go to Prison During Pandemic, U.S. Says in Reversal

  Roger Stone Should Go to Prison During Pandemic, U.S. Says in Reversal The U.S. Justice Department said it no longer supports Republican operative Roger Stone’s request to delay the start of his prison term by 60 days due to the coronavirus pandemic, reversing its earlier position. Stone, sentenced to 40 months in prison for lying to Congress during the Russia probe, has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to let him report to prison on Sept. 3 instead of July 14 -- the date set by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson after she granted a shorter two-week extension. © Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Roger Stone Roger Stone arrives to federal court in Washington, D.C.

Media captionRoger Stone speaks to reporters reacting to Trump's decision to grant clemency . The move - sparing Stone from jail but not a pardon - came just after a court denied Stone 's request to Stone was the sixth Trump aide found guilty on charges linked to a justice department probe that

Trump grants clemency to ally Roger Stone after railing against 'unfair' conviction, sentencing. The Justice Department told a federal appeals court this week that Stone should begin his sentence In handing down Stone 's sentence this year, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the GOP

MORE: President Trump commutes sentence of longtime friend, adviser Roger Stone

Jackson said her order followed questions that were specifically raised by the U.S. Probation Office, and ordered the government to submit the order by Tuesday -- when Stone was originally set to begin his 40-month prison sentence at a federal corrections institution in Alabama.

Roger Stone wearing a suit and tie: Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at U.S. District Court in Washington, Nov. 6, 2019. © Tom Brenner/Reuters, FILE Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at U.S. District Court in Washington, Nov. 6, 2019. MORE: DOJ whistleblowers argue department damaged by political interference from Barr, Trump

But Scott Anderson, a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, argued that any attempts to impose limits on the president's constitutional pardon power could prove fruitless.

Trump Strongly Suggests Pardon for Longtime Friend Roger Stone Is Imminent: ‘His Prayer May Be Answered’

  Trump Strongly Suggests Pardon for Longtime Friend Roger Stone Is Imminent: ‘His Prayer May Be Answered’ Trump strongly suggests pardon for longtime friend Roger Stone is imminent: 'His prayer may be answered'Carr asked about Stone’s fate at the end of his 17-minute interview with Trump and called the three-year prison sentence for the president’s confidante a “witch hunt.

Roger J. Stone Jr. leaving Federal District Court in November.Credit Doug Mills/The New York Grant Smith, a lawyer for Mr. Stone , said the defense team was “looking forward to reviewing” the The intervention by senior Justice Department officials in Mr. Stone ’s case serves as the first big test

JUST IN: Judge in STONE case asks for a copy of the president's order commuting Stone ' sentence to ensure it includes not just his jail term but also Specifically, Jackson is seeking to determine whether Stone ’s commutation applies only to his prison sentence or if it also applies to his supervised release .

"I have no doubt a corrupt use of the pardon power could be the basis for an impeachment," Anderson said. "But I'm not sure if there's other legal restrictions Congress could easily put on it."

Both Anderson and Joshua Geltzer, a former DOJ and White House official who serves as Georgetown Law School's Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy, noted that debate over how to check a president potentially abusing their pardon powers dates back as far as the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

"The Framers did anticipate that this power, as extraordinary as it is, could be abused by a president," said Geltzer. "In a debate between George Mason and James Madison, Madison's answer was that abuse of that power would be grounds for impeachment. I think in some ways it shows how far we've fallen that the notion of the House and Senate checking a president for use of impeachment power when the president has done something so ostentatiously awful -- the fact that feels unavailable right now is a real problem."

Trump defends Roger Stone move: He was target of 'witch hunt'

  Trump defends Roger Stone move: He was target of 'witch hunt' President Trump on Saturday morning defended his decision to commute the prison sentence for his longtime associate and political confidant Roger Stone, claiming Stone was the victim of a "witch hunt.""Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including the fact that Biden and Obama illegally spied on my campaign - AND GOT CAUGHT!" Trump tweeted.The White"Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including the fact that Biden and Obama illegally spied on my campaign - AND GOT CAUGHT!" Trump tweeted.

FILE PHOTO: Roger Stone reacts after Trump commuted his federal prison sentence in Fort Lauderdale. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over Stone 's trial, set a July 14 deadline to receive a copy of Trump's clemency order along with an explanation about whether it also

The clemency for Stone was only the 36th Trump has granted , with 180 denied. Many of those granted by Trump have been to his political supporters or suggested by people he knows, rather than being processed through normal pardon procedures overseen by the U.S. Justice Department .

Anderson said an alternative approach lawmakers could take that might survive constitutional muster would be to pass legislation requiring more transparency and disclosure in the clemency process -- such as demanding presidents hand over all records related to pardons and commutations to Congress, as a potential incentive for avoiding politically-motivated acts of clemency.

"Those sorts of restrictions, even where the president has substantial capacity to act unilaterally, usually are seen as constitutionally acceptable because they're not really imposing a serious restriction," Anderson said.

Mike Pence, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: President Donald Trump speaks next to Vice President Mike Pence during a roundtable discussion on law enforcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 13, 2020. © Jonathan Ernst/Reuters President Donald Trump speaks next to Vice President Mike Pence during a roundtable discussion on law enforcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 13, 2020.

Separate from a check on the president's lawful exercise of a constitutional power, however, it's not without modern precedent for the motives behind a president's decision to grant a pardon to be the subject of criminal investigation.

Attorney General Barr told Trump he shouldn't grant Roger Stone clemency

  Attorney General Barr told Trump he shouldn't grant Roger Stone clemency Barr had previously said that Roger Stone's prosecution was "righteous" and the sentence was fair, and defended his decision to oppose a stricter sentence for Stone. The Justice Department and White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Stone, a former campaign aide, was convicted of lying to Congress and obstruction and witness tampering after being indicted by a grand jury as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's 2016 presidential election meddling. Democrats quickly criticized the decision and called it an abuse of the rule of law.

Stone was more than a political ally of the president, like Arpaio. He was not just a friend of a friend The president’s clemency power allows him to commute any federal sentence as well as to grant Jackson pressed the prosecutors to account for the department ’s dueling recommendations, but they

“ Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the statement said. “He was treated very unfairly, as The Justice Department moved in May to dismiss its own criminal case against Mr. Trump’s former Mr. Stone made no secret of his desire for clemency from the president. While it was not immediately

MORE: Attorney General William Barr defends Justice Department against claims of politicization

After former President Bill Clinton pardoned the wealthy financier Marc Rich on his last day in office in 2001, the incoming Bush Justice Department tasked prosecutors with investigating the move as a possible act of corruption. The probe was closed, however, after no evidence of criminal activity was uncovered.

It's unlikely a similar probe would be initiated by Trump's own Justice Department, however. Even as Democrats have alleged the clemency was an overt move by Trump to reward Stone in his refusal to cooperate with special counsel Mueller's investigation, the White House has countered that Trump was instead motivated by his overall disdain for the Russia investigation in the first place.

During Barr's confirmation hearing in January 2019, he stated he believed it would be a "crime" for a president to issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient's promise to not incriminate him.

But in an interview with ABC News last week, Barr made clear he would give deference to the president should he make the decision to pardon Stone or commute his sentence while at the same time defending Stone's prosecution as "righteous."

"I think it's the president's prerogative," Barr said. "It's a unique power that the president has. And it's certainly something that is committed to his judgment. But as I say-- I felt it was-- appropriate prosecution and I thought the sentence was fair."

Roger Stone tells ABC News, 'I feel good. I feel great' after Trump commutes sentence .
After Roger Stone received a full-sentence commutation from President Donald Trump, the veteran GOP political operative told ABC News he's feeling good. "I feel good. I feel great," Stone told ABC News in a series of recent interviews. "But I have a lot of thank you calls to make, I have a lot of thank you letters to write.

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