House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) weighed in following widespread speculation of a possible pardon from President Donald Trump for his former associate Roger Stone after he was sentenced to more than three years in prison on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Schiff called Stone’s sentence “justified” and warned President Trump that pardoning Stone would be an act of “corruption.”
“Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness. He did it to cover up for Trump,” Schiff wrote in a tweet. “His sentence is justified. It should go without saying, but to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption.”
Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness.
He did it to cover up for Trump. His sentence is justified.
It should go without saying, but to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 20, 2020
Stone was convicted in November on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress on charges that stemmed from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. In a Washington court on Thursday, he was sentenced to 40 months in prison and fined $20,000, and given restrictions on travel.
However, the implementation of the sentence is delayed until the judge decides whether to grant the defense’s motion for a new trial over claims of juror bias. Stone remains free on bond after Thursday’s appearance but his gag order remains in place.
President Trump has raised questions over the “fairness” of the prosecution during Stone’s sentencing hearing, questioning why James Comey, Hillary Clinton, and other former government officials had not faced punishment for their actions.
“’They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.’ @CNN. OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?” he tweeted.
“They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.” @CNN OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
During remarks at a prisoner graduation event in Las Vegas on Thursday, the president also said Stone “has a very good chance of exoneration” but he intends to let the legal process play out.
“I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States. I want the process to play out,” President Trump said. “I think that’s the best thing to do. Because I’d love to see Roger exonerated, and I’d love to see it happen, because I personally believe he was treated very unfairly.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) voiced his support for the prospect of President Trump pardoning Stone, saying that the president has “all the legal authority” to do so.
This presidential power is available to all presidents in all cases brought before our justice system.
This is the way our legal system is intended to work and provides a brilliant and intricate system of checks and balances we should all honor.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 20, 2020