Reality-checking the White House’s assertion asserting Roger Stone’s commutation

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The incredible act of clemency was introduced by White Household press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. She produced a lengthy assertion that was littered with lies and fake promises about the Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller and the particulars of Stone’s authorized case.

Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress, obstructing its inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and threatening a witness who could have exposed his lies. The commutation erases Stone’s jail sentence — but the guilty verdicts remain on the guides.

Here is a breakdown of 12 baseless claims from the White House statement.


“Right now, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr. Roger Stone is a sufferer of the Russia Hoax that the Still left and its allies in the media perpetuated for a long time in an endeavor to undermine the Trump Presidency.”

  • The Russia investigation was not a hoax, and it did not originate from Democrats or the media. The investigation started in July 2016 after the FBI acquired a idea about probable coordination among the Trump marketing campaign and the Russian federal government. The FBI director at the time was James Comey, a Republican.
  • Later on, after Trump fired Comey in May possibly 2017, the Trump-appointed Deputy Lawyer Normal Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as specific counsel to continue the investigation. Rosenstein and Mueller are both Republicans. The Justice Office inspector normal stated the probe was lawfully opened in 2016.

“There was under no circumstances any collusion concerning the Trump Marketing campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia. These types of collusion was by no means something other than a fantasy of partisans not able to accept the outcome of the 2016 election. The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, executed at good taxpayer price, on the lookout for evidence that did not exist.”

  • Mueller’s last report did not conclude that there “was by no means any collusion.” Collusion is not a authorized term. Mueller investigated whether any Trump associates criminally conspired with Russians with regards to the election. Mueller mentioned the investigation “did not build that customers of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian federal government in its election interference activities.”
  • The investigation did unearth dozens of contacts in between Trump campaign associates and Russians, even even though Trump frequently denied to the general public that there was any communication before the election.

“As it turned very clear that these witch hunts would in no way bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Business office resorted to course of action-primarily based expenses leveled at high-profile people today in an endeavor to manufacture the wrong effect of criminality lurking beneath the area. These expenses were being the merchandise of recklessness borne of aggravation and malice.”

“This is why the out-of-command Mueller prosecutors, determined for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone.”

  • Mueller’s team was supervised by Rosenstein and later by performing Legal professional Normal Matt Whitaker, and in its last months by Lawyer Typical William Barr. If Mueller or any member of his workforce broke Justice Division procedures, they could have been reassigned or terminated by Rosenstein, Whitaker or Barr.
  • Also, there’s nothing in the public file to aid the assert that Mueller’s workforce “set their sights” on Stone in the late phases of the investigation. In actuality, according to unsealed look for warrants, Mueller acquired look for warrants from Stone in summer season 2017, months right after having more than the investigation.

“Roger Stone is perfectly known for his practically 50 several years of do the job as a expert for superior-profile Republican politicians, such as President Ronald Reagan, Senator Bob Dole, and several other folks. He is also properly recognized for his outspoken assist for President Donald J. Trump and opposition to Hillary Clinton.”

  • Stone’s help for Trump was not the motive he was charged. At Stone’s sentencing listening to, the choose stated: “He was not convicted and is not staying sentenced for training his Very first Modification rights, his aid of the President’s marketing campaign or his procedures. He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the President. He was prosecuted for covering up for the President.”

“Mr. Stone was charged by the exact prosecutors from the Mueller Investigation tasked with discovering proof of collusion with Russia. Simply because no these types of evidence exists, nonetheless, they could not charge him for any collusion-linked criminal offense. Rather, they charged him for his carry out through their investigation. The straightforward simple fact is that if the Specific Counsel had not been pursuing an absolutely baseless investigation, Mr. Stone would not be going through time in jail.”

  • Mueller’s staff was not only tasked with looking for potential Trump-Russia coordination. They ended up also licensed by Rosenstein to investigate “any matters that arose or may possibly arise immediately from that investigation.” Stone’s lies to Congress about his attempts to support the Trump marketing campaign capitalize on Russian meddling in the 2016 election was an clear and natural avenue for Mueller’s investigates to pursue.
  • The argument that “Stone would be not facing time in jail” if it wasn’t for an “completely baseless investigation” defies logic. Very first, the Russia investigation was established by the Justice Section to be appropriately predicated. Next, if Stone hadn’t lied to Congress, it’s most likely he would not have been charged at all. Mueller investigated other sides of Stone’s routines, but declined to bring costs.
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“In addition to charging Mr. Stone with alleged crimes arising solely from their very own incorrect investigation, the Mueller prosecutors also took pains to make a community and shameful spectacle of his arrest.”

  • These crimes are not merely “alleged.” Stone was convicted by a jury on 7 counts. He is interesting his conviction and maintains his innocence. But the crimes are no for a longer period mere “allegations” by prosecutors. Also, the commutation doesn’t erase these convictions from Stone’s history.

“Mr. Stone is a 67-calendar year-previous gentleman, with quite a few health-related situations, who had hardly ever been convicted of yet another criminal offense. But relatively than allow for him to surrender himself, they made use of dozens of FBI brokers with automatic weapons and tactical devices, armored motor vehicles, and an amphibious device to execute a pre-dawn raid of his house, where he was with his spouse of many decades. Notably, CNN cameras had been current to broadcast these functions dwell to the earth, even though they swore they ended up not notified—it was just a coincidence that they had been tlere jointly with the FBI early in the morning.”

  • Trump, Stone and their allies in ideal-wing media have repeatedly promoted the conspiracy concept that Mueller’s staff leaked facts about Stone’s arrest to CNN. This is not real.
  • Mueller’s staff made documentation to the court docket that CNN was not tipped off, and CNN’s own reporting on its conclusion-creating showed that stakeout at Stone’s dwelling was centered on a hunch. The direct prosecutor on the Stone case later testified underneath oath to Congress that Mueller’s staff was not leaking to the media.

“Not only was Mr. Stone charged by overzealous prosecutors pursing a scenario that in no way must have existed, and arrested in an procedure that never ever should really have been authorized, but there were being also significant issues about the jury in the circumstance. The forewoman of his jury, for example, concealed the point that she is a member of the so-termed liberal ‘resistance’ to the Trump Presidency. In now-deleted tweets, this activist-juror vividly and openly attacked President Trump and his supporters.”

  • The judge turned down several of these arguments and dominated that there was no jury misconduct. Even soon after her ruling, Stone and Trump ongoing repeating the debunked claims that there was misconduct. In asking for a new trial, Stone built several of these exact points about alleged bias but the choose rebuffed him.
  • Also, it is really a stretch to explain Mueller’s crew as “overzealous prosecutors.” They showed tremendous deference to Trump, allowing for him to post penned testimony, declining to subpoena him for a deposition, and adhering to Justice Department pointers that he are unable to be indicted as president, even however that is not settled legislation. They also investigated, but declined to prosecute, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. for soliciting political dirt from Russians at the controversial Trump Tower meeting.
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“Mr. Stone would be place at serious professional medical possibility in jail.”

  • The choose in this case questioned this claim when Stone designed it earlier this month, seeking to hold off the jail sentence. Stone’s attorneys filed a movement stating that he has serious professional medical problems, but the decide reported their filing “does not discover any medical affliction or conditions or include any non-public health care info.”
  • She mentioned that there is not a huge coronavirus outbreak fat the federal prison in Ga wherever Stone was intended to serve his sentence. A federal appeals court upheld that ruling on Friday, clearing the way for Stone to report to jail. Trump’s commutation shields Stone from jail.

“He has appealed his conviction and is searching for a new demo. He maintains his innocence and has mentioned that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice process. Mr. Stone, like just about every American, deserves a reasonable trial and each and every option to vindicate himself ahead of the courts.”

  • The judge presently dominated that the trial was fair and there was no misconduct by the jury. Stone is appealing his situation and has lifted several of the exact challenges about the jury in his filings with the appeals panel.

“The President does not desire to interfere with his attempts to do so. At this time, however, and specially in light-weight of the egregious facts and situations bordering his unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial, the President has decided to commute his sentence. Roger Stone has presently endured drastically. He was dealt with extremely unfairly, as were lots of other folks in this scenario. Roger Stone is now a no cost male!”

  • Even Barr has explained that this was a “righteous” prosecution and that the punishment he acquired, of 40 months in jail, “was truthful.”
  • A single of the occupation Justice Section prosecutors testified to Congress that Stone acquired particular procedure simply because he was a shut ally and supporter of the President. This testimony, from prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, severely undercuts the claim that Stone was taken care of unfairly. Zelinsky quit the case in February following Barr intervened to drinking water down the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for Stone. The original recommendation followed routine pointers and termed for 7 to 9 many years in jail.

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this article.

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About the Author: Martin Gray

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