• Nathan Max

Trump Commutes Stone Sentence


Photo credit: Joshua Roberts/Reuters. Roger Stone will not be heading to federal prison after his sentence was commuted.

Donald Trump isn’t even trying to hide his corruption anymore.


On Friday, Trump announced he is commuting the prison sentence of his pal Roger Stone because, according to the president, he was being treated very unfairly. For all the times Trump has tweeted, “LAW & ORDER,” in all caps the last couple weeks, once again the president showed us that doesn’t apply to him or his friends.


Stone, 67, will now be spared federal prison just days before he was scheduled to report, despite being convicted of seven charges in November, including lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction in an attempt to protect the president. Stone was convicted for misleading Congress about his communications with the Trump campaign as a part of the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was slated to spend the next three years and four months behind bars.


Of course, for all the crimes Trump has clearly committed before and during his presidency, commuting Stone’s sentence is actually not technically illegal. It just continues a repeated pattern of corruption, with Trump and his team behaving like the rules of ethical governing don’t apply to them.


And, honestly, why should they act any differently? For 3½ years, this administration has thumbed its nose at subpoenas, not cooperated with investigations, strong-armed prosecutors and shown a callous willingness to do whatever it pleases. Republicans had a chance to put a stop to it in January, but only Mitt Romney had the wherewithal, integrity and courage to vote to convict a clearly guilty Trump of seeking help from a foreign nation with his reelection effort.


Now, we’re stuck with a president who behaves like he is above the law, because he has learned that he is. Republicans didn’t allow these shenanigans under President Richard Nixon, so he quit in disgrace. But they continue to shamelessly enable Trump, which means these kinds of outrages will only continue until he is out of office, whether that be in six months or 4½ years.


In public relations, if you want to bury news, you release it late on a Friday night so it gets as little attention as possible. During the Trump administration, Friday night news dumps have become commonplace. That’s how you know it’s shady.


“Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia hoax that the left and its allies in the media perpetrated in the media for years in an attempt to undermine the presidency,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, repeating the common refrain we have heard for years.


We now know there are two sets of laws in this country. One for the president and his buddies, and another for the rest of us. If your name is Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn or Rod Blagojevich, you’re in good shape. Lying to the FBI or to Congress in matters of national security gets you special treatment from the president. Tear down a Confederate statue, and he’ll want you sent to prison for a decade.


We are hardly living in a country where there is equal justice for all.

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