Truth-examining the White House’s assertion asserting Roger Stone’s commutation

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The extraordinary act of clemency was declared by White Dwelling press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. She launched a lengthy assertion that was littered with lies and wrong claims about the Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller and the information of Stone’s authorized scenario.

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 uncovered his lies. The commutation erases Stone’s jail sentence — but the responsible verdicts keep on being on the books.

Here’s a breakdown of 12 baseless promises from the White House statement.

Statement FROM THE Press SECRETARY Concerning Government GRANT OF CLEMENCY FOR ROGER STONE, JR.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Government 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 yrs in an try 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 immediately after the FBI obtained a suggestion about probable coordination among the Trump campaign and the Russian federal government. The FBI director at the time was James Comey, a Republican.
  • Later on, just after Trump fired Comey in May possibly 2017, the Trump-appointed Deputy Legal professional Basic Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as exclusive counsel to carry on the investigation. Rosenstein and Mueller are both Republicans. The Justice Department inspector common claimed the probe was legally opened in 2016.

“There was hardly ever any collusion concerning the Trump Marketing campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia. This sort of collusion was never anything at all other than a fantasy of partisans unable to acknowledge the final result of the 2016 election. The collusion delusion spawned countless and farcical investigations, carried out at good taxpayer expense, seeking for evidence that did not exist.”

  • Mueller’s final report did not conclude that there “was in no way any collusion.” Collusion is not a lawful expression. Mueller investigated no matter if any Trump associates criminally conspired with Russians concerning the election. Mueller explained the investigation “did not create that users of the Trump Marketing campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian govt in its election interference functions.”
  • The investigation did unearth dozens of contacts amongst Trump campaign associates and Russians, even however Trump regularly denied to the general public that there was any conversation just before the election.

“As it became clear that these witch hunts would hardly ever bear fruit, the Particular Counsel’s Office environment resorted to system-centered charges leveled at superior-profile people in an endeavor to manufacture the phony perception of criminality lurking underneath the floor. These rates had been the solution of recklessness borne of aggravation and malice.”

“This is why the out-of-handle 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 afterwards by acting Legal professional Typical Matt Whitaker, and in its closing months by Legal professional Standard William Barr. If Mueller or any member of his workforce broke Justice Office rules, they could have been reassigned or terminated by Rosenstein, Whitaker or Barr.
  • Also, there is certainly absolutely nothing in the community history to aid the declare that Mueller’s group “set their sights” on Stone in the late levels of the investigation. In point, according to unsealed search warrants, Mueller received search warrants towards Stone in summer time 2017, months following using more than the investigation.

“Roger Stone is perfectly identified for his nearly 50 several years of work as a consultant for significant-profile Republican politicians, including President Ronald Reagan, Senator Bob Dole, and numerous some others. He is also very well identified for his outspoken help for President Donald J. Trump and opposition to Hillary Clinton.”

  • Stone’s assistance for Trump was not the explanation he was charged. At Stone’s sentencing hearing, the judge said: “He was not convicted and is not remaining sentenced for working out his Initial Modification rights, his aid of the President’s campaign or his procedures. He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the President. He was prosecuted for masking up for the President.”

“Mr. Stone was charged by the exact prosecutors from the Mueller Investigation tasked with obtaining evidence of collusion with Russia. Simply because no this kind of evidence exists, nonetheless, they could not charge him for any collusion-connected criminal offense. Alternatively, they billed him for his conduct throughout their investigation. The basic fact is that if the Unique Counsel experienced not been pursuing an totally baseless investigation, Mr. Stone would not be facing time in jail.”

  • Mueller’s group was not only tasked with looking for possible Trump-Russia coordination. They had been also approved by Rosenstein to examine “any issues that arose or may perhaps crop up specifically from that investigation.” Stone’s lies to Congress about his attempts to assist the Trump campaign capitalize on Russian meddling in the 2016 election was an clear and purely natural avenue for Mueller’s investigates to pursue.
  • The argument that “Stone would be not going through time in prison” if it was not for an “completely baseless investigation” defies logic. To start with, the Russia investigation was identified by the Justice Department to be thoroughly predicated. 2nd, if Stone hadn’t lied to Congress, it really is possible he would not have been charged at all. Mueller investigated other facets of Stone’s routines, but declined to convey charges.
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“In addition to charging Mr. Stone with alleged crimes arising solely from their individual improper investigation, the Mueller prosecutors also took pains to make a public and shameful spectacle of his arrest.”

  • These crimes are not just “alleged.” Stone was convicted by a jury on seven counts. He is pleasing his conviction and maintains his innocence. But the crimes are no longer mere “allegations” by prosecutors. Also, the commutation won’t erase these convictions from Stone’s file.

“Mr. Stone is a 67-calendar year-previous guy, with quite a few healthcare conditions, who had in no way been convicted of yet another crime. But alternatively than make it possible for him to surrender himself, they utilised dozens of FBI brokers with computerized weapons and tactical tools, armored vehicles, and an amphibious unit to execute a pre-dawn raid of his residence, in which he was with his wife of a lot of a long time. Notably, CNN cameras were being current to broadcast these activities are living to the globe, even even though they swore they ended up not notified—it was just a coincidence that they were tlere with each other with the FBI early in the morning.”

  • Trump, Stone and their allies in proper-wing media have frequently promoted the conspiracy concept that Mueller’s group leaked facts about Stone’s arrest to CNN. This is not genuine.
  • Mueller’s group created documentation to the court docket that CNN was not tipped off, and CNN’s have reporting on its decision-producing confirmed that stakeout at Stone’s residence was primarily based on a hunch. The lead prosecutor on the Stone circumstance later on testified under oath to Congress that Mueller’s crew was not leaking to the media.

“Not only was Mr. Stone charged by overzealous prosecutors pursing a scenario that never must have existed, and arrested in an procedure that in no way need to have been authorized, but there had been also serious concerns about the jury in the circumstance. The forewoman of his jury, for case in point, hid the fact that she is a member of the so-termed liberal ‘resistance’ to the Trump Presidency. In now-deleted tweets, this activist-juror vividly and brazenly attacked President Trump and his supporters.”

  • The decide rejected many of these arguments and dominated that there was no jury misconduct. Even right after her ruling, Stone and Trump ongoing repeating the debunked claims that there was misconduct. In inquiring for a new demo, Stone built numerous of these exact factors about alleged bias but the choose rebuffed him.
  • Also, it can be a stretch to describe Mueller’s group as “overzealous prosecutors.” They showed remarkable deference to Trump, letting him to submit penned testimony, declining to subpoena him for a deposition, and adhering to Justice Section rules 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 filth from Russians at the controversial Trump Tower meeting.
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“Mr. Stone would be place at major healthcare threat in jail.”

  • The decide in this case questioned this declare when Stone produced it before this thirty day period, trying to hold off the jail sentence. Stone’s lawyers filed a movement expressing that he has really serious clinical conditions, but the judge claimed their filing “does not detect any health care ailment or conditions or have any private health-related data.”
  • She pointed out that there is not a massive coronavirus outbreak fat the federal jail in Ga where by Stone was supposed to provide his sentence. A federal appeals court docket 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 in search of a new trial. He maintains his innocence and has mentioned that he expects to be completely exonerated by the justice process. Mr. Stone, like every single American, justifies a fair trial and each individual chance to vindicate himself before the courts.”

  • The choose now ruled that the trial was reasonable and there was no misconduct by the jury. Stone is desirable his case and has raised lots of of the same concerns about the jury in his filings with the appeals panel.

“The President does not want to interfere with his endeavours to do so. At this time, on the other hand, and notably in gentle of the egregious specifics and situations bordering his unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial, the President has identified to commute his sentence. Roger Stone has currently endured greatly. He was taken care of really unfairly, as ended up quite a few other folks in this circumstance. Roger Stone is now a absolutely free man!”

  • Even Barr has stated that this was a “righteous” prosecution and that the punishment he acquired, of 40 months in jail, “was honest.”
  • One of the career Justice Office prosecutors testified to Congress that Stone acquired particular therapy mainly because he was a close ally and supporter of the President. This testimony, from prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, seriously undercuts the assert that Stone was dealt with unfairly. Zelinsky quit the case in February just after Barr intervened to drinking water down the Justice Department’s sentencing suggestion for Stone. The original recommendation adopted program suggestions and called for seven to nine several years in prison.

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this post.

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