President Trump on Thursday promised that his longtime informal political adviser, Roger Stone, will not serve prison time.
The commander-in-chief said the convicted Republican provocateur “can sleep well at night” while revisiting criticisms of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
The pledge from the president came on Twitter, after Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative group Turning Point USA, wrote Tuesday that Stone “will serve more time in prison than 99% of these rioters destroying America,” in reference to the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd.
“This isn’t justice,” Kirk added. “RT for a full pardon of Roger Stone!”
Roger Stone will serve more time in prison than 99% of these rioters destroying America
All because he supports Donald Trump.
This isn’t justice.
RT for a full pardon of Roger Stone!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) June 2, 2020
Trump shared the tweet and added, “No. Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”
The president’s social media post represents just his latest involvement in Stone’s case. It also comes after congressional Democrats and Justice Department officials called out the president and Attorney General William Barr for involving themselves in the matter.
No. Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night! https://t.co/HHg24tcZrx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2020
Federal prosecutors requested last February that Stone be sent to prison for seven to nine years for interfering with congressional and FBI investigations into alleged connections between the Russian government and Trump’s 2016 campaign.
After the president blasted the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation in a tweet as a “horrible and very unfair situation,” the Justice Department then submitted a revised filing that did not specify a prosecution term, and said the initial proposal “could be considered excessive and unwarranted.”
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
Soon thereafter, the four attorneys who led Stone’s prosecution resigned or notified the court that they were stepping off the case.
Last month, nearly 2,000 former Justice Department officials signed a letter urging Barr to resign over his actions in the federal cases of both Stone and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser who was also tangled up in Mueller’s probe.
The Justice Department has already started to move to stop the case against Flynn. However, it is unclear how Barr will respond to the president’s tweet from Thursday.
During a February interview, Barr described the Stone case as a “righteous prosecution” and said, “I was happy that he was convicted.”
Other convicted associates of the president who were targets of the investigation into Russian interference, including former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, were recently released from prison into home confinement, due to concerns about the coronavirus.
President Trump hinted earlier in the year that the self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” of GOP politics would not have to serve his full prison term, saying his former aide “has a very good chance of exoneration.”
Stone said in April that he is “praying for a pardon,” and had been told by the Bureau of Prisons to report to begin serving his 40-month sentence by June 30.
His appeal is still pending.