Report: Trump May Pardon Roger Stone
President Donald Trump hinted on Tuesday that he could issue a presidential pardon for his longtime friend and former adviser Roger Stone, according to Newsweek. Stone was convicted on seven counts related to the Russia investigation last month.
Speaking with reporters at his Mar-a-Lago club this week, Trump indicated he had not previously thought about pardoning Stone but appeared to leave the door open to doing so.
"Well, I hadn't thought of it," the president said. "I think it's very tough what they did to Roger Stone...he's a good person."
Trump also took the opportunity to blast the agencies that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election, calling FBI investigators “evil people.”
"These were dirty people, these were bad people, these were evil people," he said. "And I hope that someday I'm going to consider it my greatest, or one of my greatest, achievements getting rid of them. We have no place in our country for people like that."
Despite supporting Stone as a victim of government maltreatment, Trump also attempted to downplay his role in the 2016 campaign “by making false claims about the timeline regarding Stone's involvement,” Newsweek reported.
“Trump announced his 2016 bid for president on June 16, 2015, and news of Stone's departure came August 8,” the publication noted, adding that, “Trump said he fired Stone while the adviser claimed otherwise, saying he quit.”
But on Tuesday, Trump told a different story to reporters: "Roger Stone was not a part of it, the campaign. He was somebody I've known over the years but not a part of the campaign. Very, very, very early on—long before, I think—long before I even announced, he was involved in a minor way."
"What they did to [Stone] is very unfair, in my opinion, and what they did to General [Michael] Flynn is very unfair, in my opinion, and what they did to so many others is very unfair," Trump said. "And now, we found out there were a bunch of dirty cops."
The Washington Post noted in November that Stone “faces a legal maximum penalty of 50 years in prison — 20 years for the witness tampering charge and five years for each of the other counts, although a first offender would face far less time under federal sentencing guidelines.”