- Several top Democrats condemned President Donald Trump for granting Roger Stone clemency on Friday night.
- Rep. Adam Schiff called it an “attack on the rule of law.”
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said the decision made a mockery of democracy.
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she wants to implement a law that would prohibit a president from granting clemency to someone who is sentenced for a crime that is assisting the president.
- Stone was convicted by a jury in November 2019 of seven felony counts: five counts of making false statements to the FBI and congressional investigators, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Top Democrats reacted swiftly after President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of Republican strategist Roger Stone.
On Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, that decision is another “attack on the rule of law.”
“There are two systems of justice now in America, one for criminal friends of the president like Michael Flynn and now Roger Stone and one for everybody else,” Schiff said.
Schiff: "There are two systems of justice now in America, one for criminal friends of the president like Michael Flynn and now Roger Stone and one for everybody else." pic.twitter.com/uhdIk6BmWD
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 11, 2020
Schiff called it “another tragic day for American democracy.”
“Through this act, Trump is saying: ‘If you lie for me, if you cover up for me, if you obstruct for me, I will protect you,'” he wrote in a tweet.
Sen. Kamala Harris contrasted Stone’s clemency with the fact that police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, in March have not been arrested.
Trump commutes the prison sentence of Roger Stone while the officers that killed Breonna Taylor are still free. The two systems of justice in this country must end.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 11, 2020
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote in a tweet: “Donald Trump has abandoned the rule of law and made a mockery of our democracy. He truly is the most corrupt president in history.”
Bill Russo, a spokesperson for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, said Trump was abusing his power.
“President Trump has once again abused his power, releasing this commutation on a Friday night, hoping to yet again avoid scrutiny as he lays waste to the norms and the values that make our country a shining beacon to the rest of the world,” Russo wrote in a tweet.
He will not be shamed.
He will only be stopped when Americans make their voice heard at the ballot box this fall.
— Bill Russo (@BillR) July 11, 2020
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that there should be a law that bars presidents from pardoning people who are sentenced for crimes relating to protecting that president.
“Just look at this administration. This president and his henchmen. So many of his friends, advisors, campaign chairmen, etc. are in jail, and for the president to be able to issue a pardon on the basis of a crime that the person committed assisting the president is ridiculous. There ought to be a law,” Pelosi said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Trump commuting Roger Stone’s sentence: “I’m recommending that we pass a law that presidents cannot issue a pardon if the crime that the person is in jail for is one that is caused by protecting the President, which this was” https://t.co/ZzhLshSw7I pic.twitter.com/WCwCM5Xvq2
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 11, 2020
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said equal justice under the law was undermined and called Trump a “lawless president who regards the Justice Department as his personal plaything.”
“By refusing to hold President Trump accountable, the Republican Party bears responsibility for his lawlessness,” Schumer said in the statement.
On Friday, Trump signed an “Executive Grant of Clemency” commuting Stone’s “unjust” sentence, Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth reported.
“Roger Stone is 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,” the statement said. “There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia.”
Stone was convicted by a jury in November 2019 of seven felony counts: five counts of making false statements to the FBI and congressional investigators, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice.
He was sentenced to 40 months in prison, a $US20,000 fine, four years of probation after his prison term, and 250 hours of community service earlier this year, Business Insider reported.
- Read more:
- White House announces that Trump has commuted the ‘unjust’ prison sentence of former Republican strategist Roger Stone
- Trump says Roger Stone’s ‘prayer’ for a pardon ‘may be answered’ soon
- Meet Roger Stone: One of Trump’s most loyal supporters whose 40-month prison sentence was just commuted